Tottenham Hotspur’s newest defensive signing has a lot of potential, according to Mauricio Pochettino, but Juan Foyth isn’t quite ready to slot into the starting 11 quite yet. Speaking about Foyth on Tottenham’s website, Pochettino cautioned fans not to hold the 19-year old central defender up to too high of a standard immediately.
“Juan is so young, he’s 19, but he’s started to show his potential. There were a lot of teams interested in him but he wanted to sign for us and that’s fantastic because he’s a big talent with big potential. He’s a player for the future who will need to adapt his game now to the Premier League and Tottenham. He’s young and needs to improve and learn. He will be great for us.”
However, Poch thinks very highly of the Argentine defender, enough that he spoke in glowing terms of his ability and potential in quotes printed in the Evening Standard.
“He is so good with the ball at his feet. He is so calm and relaxed - I think it’s fantastic,” said Pochettino. “It’s true that he is young but he can be very aggressive and strong, too. He has very good legs, a good mentality and he is so mature for his age.
“We saw him playing at Estudiantes, and started to talk with him and his parents and family to try to convince him to join us. It was a big, big deal. It took three months to arrange because a lot of clubs were interested in him. In the end he decided to join us. It was good for him and good for us, too.”
Hearing Poch speak about Foyth’s ability under pressure and with the ball at his feet makes me think that Pochettino really does have high expectations for him. We know that Pochettino likes central defenders with good ball skills, as his Spurs teams regularly play out of the back. Poch seems to believe that Foyth will eventually be a long-term replacement for one of his starting 11, possibly Jan Vertonghen who turned 30 in April.
Still, Poch seems to understand that it would be unwise to throw him into the first team immediately after only playing 450 minutes of first team football at Estudiantes last season.
“He needs to settle in England and then, little by little, start to improve, adapt to the game here. I think it’s early to think about giving him the possibility to play. But he’s doing so well in the last week and we are so happy because his potential is massive.”
Spurs fans would be wise to remember that too.