Tottenham Hotspur are currently gearing up for the start of the Premier League season on Saturday where they’ll take on Everton at Goodison Park. While there are some things in flux right now, such as the ongoing saga of Clinton N’Jie / Georges Kevin-N’Koudou transfer, the club hasn’t had much else to deal with other than settling in new players and prepping for a season that sees Spurs return to Champions League play.
Unfortunately, that’s changed a bit. The Daily Mail are reporting that Paul Mitchell, Head of Recruitment for Tottenham Hotspur, has handed in his resignation and left the club. The article itself doesn’t have much for us to go on, but here are the key points to take away:
Mitchell, their head of recruitment, was contracted until 2017 but is set to leave after serving out a significant notice period, ending his two-year spell in north London.
Mitchell, 34, has not been short of offers in the past and has previously opted to stay at White Hart Lane, but has decided to move on. It is understood that the reason for his resignation is not related to Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Update: Mitchell's appointment has been confirmed by Tottenham Hotspur via their official Twitter account.
Confirmed: Paul Mitchell, Head of Recruitment, will be leaving the Club at a future date to be mutually agreed. pic.twitter.com/L32la5d9BJ— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 9, 2016
Daniel: "We understand & respect his wish to consider new avenues. The priority right now is the final few weeks of the transfer window."— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 9, 2016
Daniel: "I know that, whilst most of our business has been completed, Mitch is keen to ensure we start the season in the best position."— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 9, 2016
Mitchell is largely responsible for the restructuring of Tottenham’s recruitment system, which wasn’t great under the likes of Franco Baldini. During Mitchell’s time, Spurs have managed to sign the likes of multiple senior squad members such as Dele Alli, Kevin Wimmer, Toby Alderweireld, Victor Wanyama, and Vincent Janssen to name a few.
It’s unclear what is the real reason for Mitchell leaving. There doesn’t appear to be any rift between Mitchell and Pochettino, and while we’re sure to get more about this in the coming weeks, speculation is going to run rampant. It does appear Spurs knew about this for some time and managed to keep it quite until the 34-year-old officially left the club.
While losing Mitchell is an issue itself, the timing of this couldn’t be worse. There’s still three weeks left in the transfer window and Spurs, while appearing to have conducted most of their business early on, may need to shore up one or two spots before the window shuts at the end of August, never mind future transfer windows. It’s unclear as to what the club is going to retain from Mitchell’s tenure or who is going to step up into the now vacant role.
We’re left with more questions than answers at this point, and while we have to appreciate what Mitchell was able to do with Tottenham in his two year stint, this hurts. We just don't know to what extent. The silver lining, at least, is that Mitchell gave the club ample warning of his departure, giving the necessary time for Spurs to figure out what to do after he left the club.
UPDATE: It gets worse. According to the Telegraph, head scout Rob Mackenzie has also tendered his resignation, and is reportedly heading to Derby County. If this is accurate that's a double-blow to Tottenham's recruitment efforts.