“I think it's a moment the club needs to take risks and if possible work harder than the previous season to be competitive again."
Nine days later, Mauricio Pochettino put pen to paper on a new five-year deal with the Lilywhites. What his vision for the future, and what risks these plans entailed, were never fully disclosed. But after calling on Daniel Levy to be brave, little else has been heard from North London.
Since then, Manchesters City and United have signed Riyad Mahrez and Fred respectively, Liverpool have added both Fabinho and Naby Keita, Chelsea are about to see a domino effect spring from their most recent managerial change, whilst Arsenal have five new faces alongside their new man in the dugout.
Meanwhile, Tottenham’s only concluded deal has seen Keanan Bennetts move to Borussia Monchengladbach for £2 million.
As good as a new signing
With nine players still in Russia for this weekend’s final World Cup matches, Tottenham could find their numbers depleted during the Premier League’s opening weekend. There is a good argument to be made that Tottenham’s fringe players can step up to plug the gap during this time.
Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura, Serge Aurier and possibly even Moussa Sissoko will all be ready for the trip to Newcastle. So too will youngsters such as Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth, but they are unlikely to be seen as longer-term solutions.
Harry Winks, however, can return from injury to play a starring role for Tottenham this season. Having resumed training following an ankle injury, Winks has shown enough from his 61 senior appearances for confidence in him to be well-founded.
A sprinkling of stardust
The only ongoing rumour to appear in the headlines alongside Tottenham’s name recently has been that of Jack Grealish. Other players such as Malcolm, Andre Gomes and Alex Grimaldo - who were all strongly linked last January - have again been mentioned.
So too have the likes of Wilmar Barrios, Tanguy Ndombele and Amadou Haidara, but none of these have the gravitas of a major marquee signing. If this is Pochettino’s risky plan, this summer could conclude with only supplementary signings moving to N17.
This would also go some way to explaining the lack of activity and the lack of rumours circulating around the club so far. Levy, however, does have a habit of pulling surprises out of left field regarding transfers though.
Negotiating a summer obstacle
The notion that the World Cup has complicated transfer deals does hold an element of truth. It has, however, sped up the process for many high-profile players who wanted their futures decided before the tournament began. The same can also be said for Tottenham’s Premier League rivals.
The more pressing concern which Tottenham’s recruitment policy needs to address is that of their foreign player quota, especially regarding the Champions League.
This would make selling players such as Sissoko, Fernando Llorente and perhaps Toby Alderweireld more of a priority. It’s also a reason why Pochettino should try to retain Danny Rose this season.
So if Pochettino is to bring new signings to White Hart Lane this summer, shouldn’t they be in the realms of the galactico? A superstar signing who is more than worthy of his place in the team.
The big push
Tottenham’s most expensive signings to date have generally underwhelmed. Sissoko, Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela have all failed to justify their price tags, although Davinson Sanchez has shown great promise.
The argument for bringing in an expensive, big-name profile appears strong though. If Pochettino can find a star name to bring leadership and the winning mentality into the dressing room which he spoke of in the wake of defeat to Juventus, it could prove invaluable.
It’s entirely possible that some players will return from the World Cup as stronger characters in the team, though to bring a Gareth Bale or Luka Modric to the team would be a bold statement, which would surely have a hugely positive impact on the team.
To dare is to do
Whether there has been a hold-up with negotiations or Tottenham are simply playing the waiting game, signings of some sort will be imminent.
Once the World Cup draws to a close this weekend, attention will once more focus on football’s domestic affairs. The questions set to haunt the lips of Tottenham fans will invariably revolve around those concerning a major signing.
It is a well-worn trope that bringing new signings in early can be hugely beneficial. For Pochettino, bringing the correct personnel on board is something which trumps all other factors though.
With less than four weeks until the transfer window closes, time is now fast running out for Spurs to make their move. Whatever this move is, it needs to bridge the gap which has already seen the best teams get better.
Listen to the RealSport football writers review the World Cup semi-finals and preview the Sunday's final in Kremlins in the Basement: RealSport’s daily World Cup podcast.