Tottenham have become the first club to make no new signings in a transfer window since the concept as we know it came into use in 2003.
Daniel Levy promised Mauricio Pochettino new players this summer when he convinced his manager not to join Real Madrid. Then Levy turned around and gave Pochettino no help in a summer when the rest of their title challengers all got stronger.
Spurs’ frugal financial outlook has become commonplace in recent years but failure to do any business this summer has now given them an unwanted place in history.
Spurs are the only side in Europe’s top five leagues not to make a single signing this summer, and the only professional side in England not to bolster their squad ahead of the new season.
They sold just one player for a profit – young midfielder Keanan Bennetts was sold to Borussia Mönchengladbach for £2m – while keeping hold of the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembélé, who were both linked with moves away.
And the Spurs manager commented ahead of the club’s opening match of the new Premier League season, against Newcastle, that he was happy with how the window had progressed.
“We have a very good squad, with very good players and it is very difficult to add players to that,” he said.
“We didn’t sell players and with 25 players in the squad it is difficult to add players. It’s not about adding because it’s fashionable to sign players. It’s about if you really need them or not and then if you can get your target or not.
“It’s true our targets are always the same level as Manchester United, Manchester City or Real Madrid but for different circumstances we can’t achieve that. I am not worried, I am not sad, I am so happy. To keep our best players was our objective and goal and we have achieved that – at the moment, we will see what happens in the next 20 days in Europe.
“If you can’t add a player that can improve your squad, the most important thing is to make sure you do not lose your best players and I think that was a great job from the club to keep the best players and the manager.”
Pochettino does accept how the lack of activity might be viewed externally, but is happy with the club’s vision.
“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,” he added.
“If we are happy with our squad and cannot improve our squad, sometimes it’s better to keep our squad together. There’s no reason to not trust in our squad and no reason not to believe in our club or believe in what we can do.
“The most important thing is we’re so positive and of course we’re going to challenge for big things this season too.”
Tottenham begin their Premier League campaign against Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday.