June 19 – Harry Kane is back, fit and ready to go. But is Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho trying to get his excuses in early ahead of the club’s hugely anticipated opening game of the Premier League resumption against Manchester United tonight?
In recent seasons, Tottenham have become regular Champions League participants, even reaching last season’s final, and had entered an exciting new era with their state-of-the-art 61,000-capacity stadium.
But Covid-19 has had a dramatic effect on the club’s finances and the latest comments from Mourinho, who only took over in November, suggest the rebuilding job expertly put together by his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino may have to start all over again.
Spurs sit eighth in the Premier League table but Mourinho does not expect to get the same budget this summer as, say, rivals Chelsea who have confirmed the £55 million signing of RB Leipzig marksman Timo Werner on a five-year deal.
He is Chelsea’s second signing for next season after they completed a deal for Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech in February. Elsewhere, Manchester United, who sit four points ahead of Spurs, signed Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes for £47 million in January.
“You have now examples already of clubs investing and making important movements in the market and we are still nine matches away from the end of the season,” said Mourinho whose success at all his previous clubs has largely been based on splashing the cash.
“We know that we are not going to be in the same league, in the same world, as clubs that are going to do completely different to us.
“But would I expect us not to do anything and to stay exactly with the same squad that we have in this moment? My answer is no.”
Mourinho’s comments will not sit easy with Spurs fans who, under Pochettino, did not spend any money in two successive transfer windows before forking out £100 million.
“I expect us to do some little important things,” said Mourinho, “and if we do our little important things and we improve in two, three positions that we need to improve in the squad, I am completely open to the challenge.”
The question is, how far will it take him?
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com