Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says he has forgiven Danny Rose after the left-back criticised the club in a controversial eve-of-season interview.
Spurs are yet to buy any new players in this transfer window and Rose, 27, told The Sun they needed to sign “world-class players” and “not players you have to Google and say, ‘Who’s that?’”
But Pochettino said he himself had been considered an unknown when he arrived at Southampton in 2013 and also cited the rises of Spurs pair Eric Dier and Dele Alli and Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante.
“If you remember four years ago, the people say, ‘Who is Mauricio Pochettino?’ I’m sure they used Google or Chrome!” Pochettino said in comments published by British newspapers on Saturday.
“But you know the problem. Straight away it went to the penalty I gave away against Michael Owen (while playing against England for Argentina at the 2002 World Cup). That situation killed me! But look now.
“And when you sign a player like Eric Dier, who is an international today when no one knew him before. Or Dele Alli or Kante.”
Rose is reported to have been fined two weeks’ wages over the interview, but with the England international having issued a public apology, Pochettino said the matter was closed.
“Danny apologised to the club, chairman, manager, team-mates and fans. This was important and good,” Pochettino said.
“Sometimes as a player you are frustrated for different reasons. But the players are calm and the club is calm. I forgive him.
“It was his opinion and then he understood that maybe he needed to apologise to us and that is very good for him and the club. For me it’s not a big issue. Now we move on.”
Rose, who signed a new five-year contract last year, will miss Tottenham’s Premier League opener at Newcastle United on Sunday due to injury.
Pochettino also reassured fans that Spurs were working to bolster a squad that finished second behind champions Chelsea last season.
“Over the last five years Tottenham have always signed players and spent money at the end of the window,” he said.
“I don’t understand why now it’s a big issue when before it wasn’t. We are so calm. The team is ready to compete.
“I’m sure we’ll add some players who will strengthen the squad, like every season. With the players we have, we can compete in a very good way.”