PLANS by London Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspurs to buy Nigerian-born midfielder Ebere Eze during the forthcoming January transfer window may now be put on ice after the manager who admired him Mauricio Pochettino was sacked yesterday.
Pochettino was a huge fan of Eze, 21, who he saw as an ideal replacement for Danish skipper Christian Erickson, who is expected to leave the club. Regularly compared with Austin JJ Okocha, Eze is regarded as a natural playmaker and Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has been desperately trying to cap him but for now the player is uncertain about where his international future lies.
Already, Eze has featured for the England U21 team, meaning that to feature for Nigeria, he would now have to go through a year-long Fifa switch process. Coach Rohr is keen to cap him now as numerous English Premier League teams are after the mercurial midfielder and once he becomes a superstar, the pressure on him to opt for England ahead of Nigeria will become unbearable.
With Spurs struggling in the middle of the Premier League table, they needed to beef up their squad with a few new players and Pochettino had been keeping close tabs on Eze. However, last night, the club sacked him and replaced him with Jose Mourinho, the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss and it is not yet clear who his January transfer targets are.
Mourinho, who has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United in December last year, will now take charge of Spurs this Saturday at West Ham. Former Spurs midfielder and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp, said Mourinho should win silverware if the club gives him the money he usually desires.
However, there are question marks around whether Spurs will part with the kind of cash Mourinho is used to getting. Also, Mourinho is normally reluctant to use young players, preferring generally to go with experience, so it is not yet clear if Eze will fit into his plans or even if he does, would Spurs be ready to part with the cash for him.
Last year, Eze extended his contract with Championship clubside Queens Park Rangers until 2021and it is believed the west London club will want at least £6bn from any potential suitors. Southampton, who are battling against relegation from the Premier League are also said to be eying Eze and could swoop during the transfer window.e\DLhEAD