Mauricio Pochettino has claimed that Christian Eriksen has now joined the same elite company as Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas among the -Premier League's outstanding individuals of the season.
A hamstring injury will rule Sanchez out of tomorrow's (Saturday's) north London derby, leaving the stage clear for Eriksen to demonstrate his credentials as a 'player of the year'.
Eriksen and Harry Kane have 19 league goals between them this -season. Asked whether Eriksen had matched Sanchez and Fabregas this season, Pochettino said: "Yes, so far. Christian has the possibility to get to the same level. His contribution so far is as great for the team."
Tottenham have never finished above their neighbours since Arsene Wenger became Arsenal manager in 1996 and, while there are clear parallels in what Pochettino would like to achieve, he said that it would be impossible to consider emulating the Frenchman's tenure. "Our vision is long term," the Tottenham coach said. "When the new stadium comes, we get more income. It's also very good for our fans. But we are focused on the present too. We need to get the results now to develop."
Asked about the prospect of being at Spurs in 2032, Pochettino said: "It's difficult for me to imagine the next season. 18 years! I admire Arsene so much because it's not easy for a manager to stay in the same place. Wenger was perfect because always he gives the balance: young, medium and experienced players."
One of Tottenham's senior players now is Emmanuel Adebayor, whom chairman Daniel Levy prevented from joining West Ham United on transfer deadline day.
Adebayor has since apologised to those Tottenham fans who have been booing him. Pochettino says that it is time for the supporters to give Adebayor a fresh start and that only Aaron Lennon asked personally to leave the club on deadline day.
"It's important that the fans forget the past," Pochettino said. "We are in a key moment. We need to put out the bad things, the bad energy, we need to try to help each other. He is a long way towards recovering his confidence and his levels and that is our job. He is in a good mood."
Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue could also have left in the transfer window but Pochettino is confident that even the peripheral players will maintain their commitment. "When you sign a contract, you don't sign to play, you sign to train," he said. "Then the club signs a manager or head coach to pick the players."
Pochettino expressed his confidence that Hugo Lloris would commit his long-term future to Tottenham amid interest from Paris St Germain and Real Madrid. The goalkeeper is out of contract in 2019. "He is very happy with us," Pochettino said.