May 15, 2017
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Does Tottenham’s wage structure threaten Mauricio Pochettino’s legacy?

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This is a landmark season for Tottenham Hotspur. As they bid a fond farewell to White Hart Lane, an iconic ground that has hosted football for more than a century, their highest Premier League finish beckons as runners-up to champions Chelsea. Moreover, for the first time in 22 years, Spurs will finish above arch rivals Arsenal to claim the north London bragging rights. With Mauricio Pochettino, whose reputation continues to rise, at the helm, the future looks bright.

Tottenham will decamp to Wembley Stadium next season to enable construction work on their brand-spanking new 61,000-seater home to be completed. An arena befitting an elite Premier League outfit it is sure to. One designed to put Spurs on a level playing field with the likes of Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs. Financially, Tottenham are currently punching well above their weight, with a considerably lower wage bill than that of their rivals. It makes their achievements all the more remarkable. But considering the stadium is costing in the region of £800 million, it’s only natural to conclude their activity in the transfer market may be restricted.

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Speculation has mounted recently that Kyle Walker, as reported by the Manchester Evening News. The right-back who has enjoyed a stellar campaign, is wanted by Manchester City and has become unsettled as a result. Danny Rose and Eric Dier have also been linked with moves to Manchester United this summer, as per the Daily Star. It is easy to understand why their heads might have been turned. Walker is rumoured to be earning £70,000 per week at Tottenham, a figure he could comfortably exceed if he were to move to Pep Guardiola’s City. The same applies to Rose and Dier with United.

Football is a short career and no player should be criticised for maximising his earnings. Yes, at the very top it can be extremely lucrative and, as such, supporters do not look kindly on their heroes chasing pound signs. Tottenham have so much going for them right now. The exciting brand of football exhibited by Pochettino’s men has won legions of admirers and is a huge draw for potential targets. Since the start of last season, no club has accrued more Premier League points than Spurs, who will qualify for the Champions League for the second successive year.

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But the fact is money talks. City and United will unquestionably spend heavily this summer, while Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are also likely to flex their muscles in an attempt to keep on their coattails. Tottenham cannot be left behind. If a player has multiple options on the table, he will choose the best financial package. And, given the current wage structure at White Hart Lane, that club is unlikely to be Tottenham.

Spurs have proved there are hidden gems in the lower leagues and throughout Europe. Dele Alli was snapped up for a bargain £5 million from MK Dons two years ago, while Toby Alderweireld was a snip at £11.5 million from Atletico Madrid. However, the club’s scouting network can only do so much. For all the hits, there have also been several high-profile misses, particularly in the aftermath of Gareth Bale’s £85 million sale to Real Madrid.

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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy may be a notoriously tough negotiator but he must loosen the pursestrings this summer, or risk undoing Pochettino’s sterling work.

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