Tottenham’s young defensive prospect Juan Foyth chose to join Tottenham over Paris Saint-Germain because of Mauricio Pochettino.
Prior to signing for the north London club in 2017 he had the option to move to Paris instead but has revealed that after speaking to Pochettino he was in no doubt about his future destination.
Five things to know about Juan Foyth…
- He signed for Spurs from Argentinian side Estudiantes in 2017 for a reported £8 million.
- Before this transfer, Foyth had only actually ever played seven times for his boyhood side at professional level.
- Foyth’s first Premier League game was a disaster after he conceded two penalties against Wolves, both of which were converted giving his opposition a 3-2 victory.
- His second game, however, was won by a single goal from the defender as Spurs beat Crystal Palace 1-0.
- In his first full international appearance for Argentina, Foyth won Man of the Match aged only 20, in a friendly against Mexico.
Despite his lack of experience, it was the potential to learn and grow that brought him to north London under the tutelage of Pochettino.
“More than anything I decided on Tottenham because there was an Argentinian manager and support team – or they can speak Spanish – and because it was a club that supported young players a lot,” the youngster told ESPN.
“Also, I had the chance to talk to Mauricio and he told me I had very good features but that he was going to improve that.”
The young Argentinian has been included in the Spurs squad for the upcoming Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund.
He was initially left out in the group stages due to a cap on ‘non-local’ players, but has now replaced Mousa Dembele and has an opportunity on the European stage.
“He explained it to me and I understood, because perhaps it was necessary to have another player in my position.
“I also understood that there’s a hierarchy in the club and among the players, and I have to earn my position there.
“It’s a great joy to me [to be included now]. It’s always something really beautiful to be playing these final stages of the competition.”
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Under Pochettino’s wing
Despite his errors against Wolves, Pochettino was quick to offer the youngster guidance rather than scolding his performance.
Foyth said: “He told me it’s a situation he had been in. It happens, so I think he could understand in that sense because he’d been out there, in that same position as me.”
Pochettino has shown his faith in developing young players. The outstanding success of both Harry Kane and Dele Alli are testament to his faith.
Pochettino’s former playing position was also another influence on Foyth’s decision to move to the club.
The centre-back said: “He was a defender as well so I thought he might have very good recommendations and advice to give me.”
Starting out life higher up the field, Foyth moved further back the taller he became. He began his career as an attacking midfielder which has helped him develop skills with the ball at his feet too.
“Maybe it’s given me a bit more confidence on the ball. But the problem is that when I played in midfield I wanted to take the ball every time, so maybe I have to be careful,” he added.
The youngster will need to be on top form to stop the likes of Jadon Sancho and Co at Wembley tonight.