Peak Pochettino: how a golden age of recruitment transformed Tottenham | Richard Jolly

Spurs’ former scout David Webb tells the story of how four supremely shrewd acquisitions helped take the team to the Champions League final

The anniversary falls on Friday. In the second extraordinary semi-final comeback in as many days, Tottenham overcame Ajax courtesy of a 96th-minute winner from their most recent recruit. A year and a half into his Spurs career, Lucas Moura completed his hat-trick. It was an advertisement for enforced continuity, an antidote to the obsession with spending as the only team in the top five European leagues to go through the season without signing anyone became Champions League finalists.

But it was not entirely true to call Tottenham the team without transfers. There was a golden age of recruitment under Mauricio Pochettino: not in 2018-19, but a seven-month spell in 2015 when Spurs brought in Dele Alli, Son Heung-min, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld all for less than £45m. Four years, and four top-four finishes later, each of a quartet which could have been valued at a combined £250m started the Champions League final.

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