Southampton's head of recruit Paul Mitchell has officially handed in his notice, and is widely believed to be heading for a similar job with Tottenham Hotspur.
Mitchell will take up a new position in which he focuses on identifying the best talent and also implements his strategies for analysing existing players. Mitchell was credited at Southampton with breaking new ground in the way he went about assessing players and his methodology was a key factor in the club recruiting so wisely after selling almost £100 million of players this summer in Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Calum Chambers.
According to the Telegraph, Mitchell will not be answerable to current Director of Football Franco Baldini, nor is there any indication that Baldini is on the way out of the club. Apparently Baldini is totally in favor of the move, which is set to be part of a club-wide overhaul to improve Spurs' recruitment at every level.
Given how so many of Spurs signings over the past few years have struggled and the way Southampton has somehow improved despite replacing so many key players this summer, this seems like an obvious win for Tottenham. It's unclear which of Southampton's signings are specifically attributable to Mitchell (Graziano Pelle, for example, played under coach Ronald Koeman at Feyenoord and was almost certainly recruited by the manager directly), but the club's overall body of work in recent seasons has been so strong that it's hard not to be excited.
Regardless of the specifics of Mitchell's role, this definitely suggests that Daniel Levy is keeping faith with Mauricio Pochettino despite the team's patchy form this season. It's hard to imagine the chairman would be chasing Mitchell if Pochettino was on the hot seat as some people seem to believe.
One area where Spurs are sure to see an immediate improvement is its hair game. Over the years Spurs has prided itself as having one of the top-coiffed squads in the country, and signing Paul Mitchell is sure to be an asset to the team. It's no secret that Levy has always attributed the massive success of London rivals Chelsea to celebrity Chelsea fan Vidal Sassoon and the strong work he did as a favor to the club. Locking down Paul Mitchell is a massive coup for Spurs and a strong statement to those who have accused Levy of failing to adequately replace the stylish tresses of former greats like Luka Modric and Gareth Bale.