Hugo Lloris has backed Tottenham’s modest transfer policy to succeed amid the lavish spending of their rivals.
Spurs on Saturday visit Everton in their opening fixture of the Premier League season, when the squad that finished third in 2015-16 will for the first time feature Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen.
Mauricio Pochettino spent £26million adding the two to an already-promising squad. Manchester’s United and City, however, like Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, have already spent in excess of that on at least one player while signing several more.
When it is widely believed the only way to ensure success is to spend the millions generated from the Premier League’s new television deal, there is a risk Spurs’ prudence will undermine them. That neither Wanyama nor Janssen appear guaranteed places in Pochettino’s starting XI furthers that point.
Lloris, though, believes last season’s title challenge demonstrates they only require “fine tuning”. Even with the arrivals elsewhere of Paul Pogba, Granit Xhaka and Leroy Sane, he remains confident Eric Dier, Dele Alli and others will overcome that by continuing to improve.
“Some teams need to rebuild everything,” Lloris, 29, told Press Association Sport. “It’s not the case (with us). Since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino, step by step he’s building his team.
“Last season we did well and we just need some fine-tuning. It’s about details now; we have the basics.”
Spurs contributed Harry Kane, Dier, Alli, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose to England’s Euro 2016 squad and Lloris said: “They are still young and they’re going to improve. One positive thing is they played their first big tournament, during the Euros. It was a really good experience for them.
“They feel good at Tottenham, they feel at home. The spirit is great. We have the talent, we work hard, and we need maybe (to) be more winners in our mentality. Step by step.
“The Champions League will be a good thing for them. We have the basics, and everyone has to keep the same mentality; try to improve individually and everyone will improve.”
For a club that has too often taken a step forward before taking one or even two back, the coming season seems crucial. Their involvement in the Champions League is their first since 2010-11 while they are also preparing to move into a new stadium in 2018 and to play their European fixtures at Wembley.
Spurs also came close to reaching the Champions League in 2012 and 2013 but Gareth Bale’s departure that summer and the mixed results of players signed with that windfall stalled their progress until the past season.
Lloris was already established among the world’s finest goalkeepers when he arrived from Lyon four years ago. He remained loyal at a club not among the highest payers or in the Champions League, so their presence there brings him great pride.
“It’s a personal satisfaction because it was my target when I signed,” said the France captain at the launch of Spurs’ betting partnership with William Hill. “To help the team and the club to get back into the Champions League.
“Mauricio Pochettino’s the right person; his philosophy. He changed a lot of things inside the building, and we can see the improvement of the team, and the club.
“It’s a really exciting place to be, with the new stadium coming. The Champions League we’re going to play in Wembley. It’s all positive, but we need to keep going, working hard, step by step try to be a great team.
“You want to go as far as possible in every competition. That’s the most important thing.”
Press Association Sport