Mauricio Pochettino wants to leave a “legacy” at Tottenham and is confident Josh Onomah has a big future in the game.
Pochettino has won plaudits for his work with Tottenham’s first team, who are fourth in the Premier League after 22 games, but the Argentine is not merely focused on front of house matters.
“Always, my decisions are for the present but for the future too,” said Pochettino. “I work for if one day I am not here to give the legacy, it’s always my way to work not only for the present and for the quick results. It’s always to create the future.
“In football you can work only for results and don’t think about tomorrow. But for me it’s always to try to create good things for the present and for the future too.
“Sometimes, we watch the under-8, under-9, under-10s. Our passion is to watch football and when you have the possibility to watch, it’s a special moment to detect the talent – sometimes we spend a lot of time watching the training sessions of the under-8s and under-9s, 10, 11, 12s. We enjoy that a lot. More professionally, we look at the under-14s, 15s and 16s.”
Eighteen-year-old Josh Onomah is the latest youngster to have broken into the first-team squad at White Hart Lane, with eight appearances under his belt this season and another expected to follow in Wednesday night’s FA Cup third-round replay against Leicester City.
Pochettino, however, says much of the credit should go to John McDermott, the club’s head of coaching and player development.
“The good thing when we arrived here was a very great feeling with John McDermott and the academy,” said Pochettino. “We started an overview of all the young players to share the opinion with John and all the coaches, and we learned a lot about the academy. Today we can see the different players with the opportunity to arrive and to create the space too for the possibility for them to train with us.
“John is a really important person for me and I think after 10 years here you can see the evolution of the players. After 18 months working with John, I can say he is one of the best academy managers that I have met.”
On Onomah, Pochettino added: “Josh is in a very good process. He is very young, very mature and, step by step he is building a presence.
“I think he is a very nice guy and a great talent. He has big potential for the future. He is in a very good place and he deserves to be involved with the first team.”