Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has lauded the club's bravery after they neglected to make any player signings this summer, leaving them with the same squad that finished third in the Premier League last term.
Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish long looked to be the only piece of notable business that Spurs might complete, but a deadline-day move failed to materialise
However, Pochettino failed to see that as a failure, per the Mirror's Adrian Kajumba:
“What the club is doing is showing it is so brave.
“Building a new training ground—finishing this summer, the lodge, was a massive investment. Building a stadium—that is nearly £1billion. That is true, don't believe in £400million, that (£1bn) is the truth! And then, with Brexit, it is worse because the cost is 30 per cent more.
“And then we keep the best players. For me, [that] is to be brave.
“Of course, it's difficult to understand for people in football that Tottenham didn't sign or sell players, but sometimes in football you need to behave differently."
Spurs face Fulham at Wembley Stadium in their opening home match of the 2018-19 season on August 18 before moving into the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where they'll host Liverpool on September 15.
As well as taking into account that expenditure, Pochettino highlighted the new contracts handed out in recent months as building blocks for the club. Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Davinson Sanchez have all extending their stays, as has Pochettino himself, per writer Ben Pearce:
Ben Pearce @BenPearceSpurs
#thfc Pochettino: "I'm not worried, not sad, I'm so happy. If you can’t add a player that can improve your squad, the most important thing is to make sure you don't lose your best players. I think that was a great job from the club to keep the best players - and the best manager”
The Argentinian is within his rights to not follow the example of others and spend for the sake of spending, although there is bound to be concern Tottenham are yet to win a trophy after four seasons under Pochettino.
The 46-year-old jested that he'd even be willing to fill in should the lack of transfers come back to haunt him, via BBC Sport:
As well as finishing third in the league behind Manchester City and Manchester United, Tottenham also made it to the FA Cup semi-finals and the UEFA Champions League round of 16 in 2017-18.
The temptation is to believe that Spurs can't improve upon those finishes without new signings, but just as new arrivals have the potential to improve a squad, often we see clubs spending badly and paying for those errors.
It was a coup for the club to sign Kane in particular to a new six-year contract in June, while the deal Pochettino signed in May will keep him at the north London club until at least the summer of 2023.
However, Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard took a different view of Tottenham's transfer window and suggested Pochettino may be fearful of their prospects following such a slow summer:
There are benefits to not signing players, too. While it's good to inject new competition in a squad, those already present are sure to get a boost in confidence from safeguarding their position, while the likes of Davinson Sanchez and Lucas Moura are sure to be more effective given more time to adapt to English football.
Although Spurs are the first team to make no signings in a summer transfer window since it was introduced in 2003, needs must in a time where Tottenham have splashed funds elsewhere—though Pochettino is refusing to see their signing-free summer as a negative.