Mauricio Pochettino: 'Difficult for clubs to retain star players'

Pochettino bemoans star player departures
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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes that teams will always struggle to retain their best players amid interest from the game's elite clubs.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has bemoaned the difficulty of teams retaining their best players amid interest from the sport's biggest and richest clubs.

The Argentine boasts a number of impressive players at Spurs, who are often the subject of intense transfer speculation in the world's press.

In January, Liverpool reluctantly sanctioned the sale of talisman Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, who in turn saw Neymar depart Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

Speaking after Tottenham's 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon in the third round of the FA Cup, Pochettino highlighted the challenge facing every club in the modern game.

"I think it's a massive example of how this business of football is, and how difficult it is for clubs to keep their best players," Pochettino told Sky Sports News.

"Liverpool is historically one of the best clubs in the world, but when a player like Coutinho wants to leave, it is difficult. Look what happened with Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, with Zinedine Zidane at Juventus, with Luis Figo at Barcelona. There are a lot of examples.

"That is why it is so important how you care for your players. That's why you need to anticipate things. It's so important to work on the human side, to try to create a project where the players feel comfortable and happy to be with you.

"But today, when the player decides to leave, it's what happens. If another club pays the type of money [Barcelona] pay, how do you stop it? I heard what [Jurgen] Klopp said. Our job is so difficult."

Harry Kane is one such player believed to be on the radar of some of the world's biggest clubs, including Real Madrid, although the striker has been compared by Pochettino to Roma stalwart Francesco Totti with regards to potentially becoming a one-club legend.

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Mauricio Pochettino embraces Harry Kane during the Champions League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund on September 13, 2017
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Pochettino compares Kane to Totti
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City33283293256887
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd34235665263974
3Liverpool352011480374371
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs34208666313568
5Chelsea34196959342563
6Arsenal331661162451754
7Burnley341410103431352
8Leicester CityLeicester341111124947244
9Everton34119143954-1542
10Newcastle UnitedNewcastle33118143542-741
11Bournemouth35911154158-1738
12Watford35108174260-1838
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton34812143247-1536
14West Ham UnitedWest Ham33811144159-1835
15Crystal Palace35811163654-1835
16Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3498172754-2735
17Swansea CitySwansea3389162746-1933
18Southampton34514153353-2029
19Stoke CityStoke34610183164-3328
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom35413182954-2525

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