Mauricio Pochettino’s £7million transfer regret could be Antonio Conte’s win at Tottenham

Tottenham’s list of targets for the upcoming transfer window continues to grow as the window gets closer to opening. Spurs are reportedly already close to completing their first two deals of the summer, with Fraser Forster and Ivan Perisic both reaching the end of their contracts at their current clubs.

Antonio Conte’s transformation of the Tottenham team on and off the pitch has not only helped them end the season on a high note, but will likely give them a boost in their hunt for newcomers. The Lilywhites’ top-four result means they will return to the Champions League next season, which will attract newcomers.

The Italian wants at least six signings this summer, so a busy few months are expected for Fabio Paratici and Tottenham ahead of the 2022/23 season. ENIC’s £150m investment is expected to be used mainly to support the 52-year-old, meaning Spurs can go out and spend money on players to suit Conte’s setup.

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A few years ago, Mauricio Pochettino was reportedly interested in signing Maxwel Cornet who was then playing for Lyon. The Ivorian’s release clause was only quoted as £7million, which would have been a cheap deal for Tottenham.

In Man City’s 2018/19 Champions League season, Cornet scored three goals in two games which earned him praise from Pep Guardiola. “I was very impressed by Maxwel Cornet’s talent,” admitted the City coach.

Pochettino’s interest and praise from a manager like Guardiola show the winger’s skills. However, the 25-year-old did not move to north London and instead made his Premier League debut not too long ago after joining Burnley last summer.

That season, Cornet made 26 league appearances, scoring nine goals and recording one assist. In February, then-Burnley manager Sean Dyche detailed his thoughts on the former Lyon player since his move to England.

“He’s still finding his Premier League fitness and we need to get him through this short spell to hopefully get him back to that level,” admitted the 50-year-old, explaining the Ivorian’s change of position.

“He finds the balance and the game knowledge. He has to adapt to the way the team works and the often very rapid change in the Premier League, his interpretation of the game is sometimes very clever when we’re working at the counter and just as sometimes he has to read the defensive side and come back a little quicker.

“Those are things that come with the mental and physical side of playing in the Premier League but I think he’s getting there and adapting well,” Dyche added.

Despite Cornet’s best efforts in his first Premier League season, Burnley failed to remain in the top flight and were relegated on the last matchday of the season, winning just seven of their 38 games. However, everything the former Clarets boss described could make the 25-year-old someone who could be a good addition to Conte’s side.

Reports have detailed the Italian’s interest in the attacker, which aligns with interest from Everton and West Ham. Despite Tottenham having a world-class manager, first class facilities and Champions League football, the Lilywhites are likely to have more appeal to players than their rivals.

Cornet has already shown his potential in his first season in the Premier League. Dyche’s admission underscores that the 25-year-old has needed time to establish himself in the English league, something the Ivorian will now have a season to do.

Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur joined Spurs in January and quickly settled in, making an immediate impact on their new side. Not all foreign players make the adjustment quickly, but if Cornet has already had a season in England and could then move to a higher-tier team with a top manager, his full potential could be unleashed.

Burnley’s relegation gives both the 25-year-old and Tottenham a boost as they decide to target the current Clarets player. Footballers want to play at the top which would make it likely Cornet would switch to a Premier League club to stay at Burnley and play in the league next season.

The Ivorian is currently valued at up to £17million (according to CIES) but with Burnley’s relegation that could be reduced which would give Spurs a boost. Not only for the above reasons, but Dyche also mentioned Cornet’s position change.

In the 2021/22 season, the 25-year-old made twelve appearances as a center forward, seven as a left winger and six as a left midfielder. There was also Cornet’s odd quality as a right midfielder and even as a left-back.

This could be a big boost for Conte to boost the quality of his side and his squad depth. Tottenham need someone to come on as a backup for Harry Kane but this could be a struggle if a player knows he will make the move and be second choice.

However, if the Ivorian can also play down the wing, he will have more opportunities to be used on the Italian side if he can play in different positions. If the 52-year-old also sees the potential, Cornet could be converted into a full-back, meaning he could also fill in for Sergio Reguilon and/or Ryan Sessegnon should the need arise and both remain at N17.

The praise he’s received, the potential he’s shown and his versatility could make him a player Tottenham are looking at in the upcoming window, and the appeal of not only Premier League football but the Champions League too could be an even greater appeal be.

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