Blues boss Pochettino reveals he was 'disappointed' to miss out on Luton midfielder when at Spurs

Barkley was on Argentine’s wish-list
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Chelsea manager Maurico Pochettino admitted he was left frustrated in his attempts to sign Luton midfielder Ross Barkley during his time in charge of Tottenham Hotspur.

With the England international becoming a starring figure at his boyhood club Everton, Pochettino tried to entice him to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when at the helm.

However, the move never materialised, Barkley opting to move to Stamford Bridge instead, signing for Antonio Conte and penning a long-term deal, although his time with the Blues was a difficult one, unable to ever fully nail down a first team spot.

Mauricio Pochettino during his time as manager of Spurs - pic: Matthew Lewis/Getty ImagesMauricio Pochettino during his time as manager of Spurs - pic: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Mauricio Pochettino during his time as manager of Spurs - pic: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

He went on to play 100 games in all competitions, with a loan move to Aston Villa, and then joining French side Nice after his contract expired.

Barkley, who is now at Kenilworth Road, arriving on a free transfer earlier this month, is back in West London this evening and in the mix to face his former side, as on possibly coming up against him, Pochettino said: “You remember things from the past.

"Sometimes you can get players, some players they can decide to move to another side.

"I was disappointed but we need to understand it is business and players have different interests or the management of the players have different interests.

“He's a great player, a very talented player, we don't know if he's going to play or not but if he plays, the quality he can add to Luton.”

Meanwhile, asked what he is expecting from the Hatters tonight, Pochettino continued: “It is going to be a tough game.

"We were watching them and analysing them and I think they are a strong team.

"It is so clear in the way that they play 1-5-3-2, they run really fast in transition and are strong in set-pieces.

"It is a team we need to respect and we need to be humble and ready to match them in how they are going to be and then we play the way we can play, create the chances and to make the difference.”

Chelsea go into the game without a number of first team players, the latest being Carney Chukwuemeka, who was injured in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham, and joins Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Mykhailo Mudryk and Christopher Nkunku in missing out.

Although Pochettino has been given money, and buckets of it to bolster his squad, bringing Moses Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, Nicolas Jackson, Axel Disasi and Robert Sanchez for astronomical fees, he knows it will still take some time for them to gel.

He added: “We will win, we will succeed in the way the players are buying the philosophy, it is only a matter of time.

"It is a process we can not force to go quick, it is all about the work and the confidence.

“If we expect today the best thing of Caicedo, Lavia, Disasi, Sanchez, all the players who arrive in the last moments with few days to adapt and compete, if we see the projection of these players, we expect the best from them, we should win every single game.

"At the moment, the form of them, we need to provide the tools to improve every day.

"The way we are playing and the platform of the team gives us the opinion we are in a good way.

"It is only a matter of time until we put it all together.

"When the transfer window is closed, I think it is going to be easier to put all together.

"I have no doubt about the quality of the squad.”