Tottenham Hotspur have struggled for form in recent weeks, finding themselves exposed defensively in defeats to Watford and Liverpool either side of the international break.
The performance against the Reds on Saturday was abysmal and Spurs could have lost by a much larger margin had Jurgen Klopp’s side been in full flow at Wembley, which raises concerns about Pochettino’s backline.
Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen were selected as the defensive partnership in the middle but the pair of Belgium internationals both have question marks around their future, with Alderweireld widely linked with a move to Manchester United in the summer and Vertonghen, now 31, heading into the latter years of his career.
As such, Pochettino’s long-term defence is currently not certain but a golden opportunity could be handed on a plate to the Argentine boss as The Daily Mirror claims Eric Bailly is ready to quit Manchester United after falling down Jose Mourinho’s pecking order.
“Look, when in England the transfer window closed and in Europe closed I think we move on. Then like always I told you, I never talk about situations, that maybe yes or maybe no, the club is dealing or working.”
Bailly was criticised after last month’s defeat to Brighton and was subsequently dropped for the next game against Tottenham, with his opportunities limited to just two substitute appearances in the games since against Burnley and Watford.
The 24-year-old, rated at £31.5m by TransferMarkt, has clearly lost the confidence of his Portuguese boss at Old Trafford and, given Mourinho’s desire to land a new defender, looks unlikely to force his way back into the starting line-up.
That should play into Tottenham’s hands as Pochettino could secure a double boost in the market by ending the saga concerning Alderweireld’s future by offering him to the Red Devils as a makeweight in a deal bringing Bailly to North London.
Pochettino’s fine record of getting the best out of young players should work wonders with Bailly, who could then develop a strong long-term partnership with Davinson Sanchez.