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Pochettino: Townsend chose to play with the Spurs U21s

But that doesn't mean he's not going to leave the club!

Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

You know how Andros Townsend had supposedly been banished to the Tottenham youth squad in retaliation for his altercation with a Spurs fitness trainer a few weeks ago? After Andros played in a Spurs U21 squad match against Middlesbrough a few days ago, the English press has been all a-twitter about Townsend being "shoved out" of Mauricio Pochettino's plans. However, Pochettino says that's not the case: According to the Mail, Andros wasn't banished to the youth team, he chose to play there.

‘It's not an issue with Andros,' the Spurs boss said. ‘He was on the bench in some games and was out of the squad against Chelsea and he asked to play for the Under-21s against Middlesbrough.

‘He asked to play. It's a very good thing because the player was out and didn't play for many weeks and it was a good opportunity.

'For me it's a very good attitude to want to play for the Under-21s and keep working hard and keep his physical levels and condition up.'

Asked if he was training with the first-team squad again, Pochettino said: ‘Yes, it's like other players.

‘Sometimes when the players are not involved in the first team in the squad... but in this case, with Andros, he asked and he wanted to play for the Under-21s.

Framing it this way, this isn't a manager punting a rogue player that he wants to get rid of, this is a player taking initiative to get match minutes however he can to stay in top condition. The comments about Andros having a "good attitude" is also positive, though it should be said that Poche very rarely throws his players under the bus, even ones that he no longer wants (i.e. Emmanuel Adebayor, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Younes Kaboul, etc.)

So that's not to say Andros might not leave the club when the January window opens. Pochettino also dropped a hint that a move away might yet be in the cards.  (Emphasis mine)

‘It's not an issue. He's still young and he has a big future in football, here or at another club. Always you need to learn in football.'

Let's be honest, Andros doesn't look like he's breaking into Spurs' first 11 anytime soon. He appears to be well behind in the pecking order at the wide midfielder position, and he's been bypassed several times lately in the Europa League. He's probably frustrated and just wants to play football. It's not difficult to imagine that Spurs might let him go, either on loan or permanently, if the right offer comes along.