Mauricio Pochettino admits that he had to put his new Tottenham Hotspur striker Fernando Llorente in his place after he revealed one fact about their past.
The 32-year-old Spanish World Cup and European Championship winner signed for Tottenham from Swansea City on transfer deadline day in a £12m deal.
He was quick to point out a quirky fact to his new manager – that he had made his debut 12 years ago for Atletico Bilbao at home against Pochettino, who was playing for Espanyol.
“He remembers better than me. Because he said to me on Wednesday. It was 16 January 2005,” he said.
“He remembers very well. And I said there is only one thing that I remember, ‘you didn’t score!’ He said ‘yes its true, I didn’t score.’ It’s unbelievable [that he remembers].”
Pochettino is delighted to have captured the Spaniard, who rejected Chelsea to join Spurs.
“He will bring to the team and the squad great experience – he won the World Cup with Spain. When you saw him in training from day one it was like a 16 or 17-year-old going to training with the first team for the first time,” said the manager.
“That is massive because that energy is fantastic and a very good example for everyone. He is a very good person and at Swansea last season he scored 15 goals, he can repeat the same with us. We really believe he can help us to achieve the things we want to achieve.”
He added: “It is true that balance is most important. Not all experienced players can bring what Fernando can bring to the team. It is not because you are 32 or 33 that you are great.
“Sometimes you are 33 and struggle but Fernando was a fantastic profile and when we had the possibility to sign him we moved very quickly.”
Pochettino also revealed that his captain Hugo Lloris was very impressed with the signing of Llorente.
“Maybe I can reveal one small thing,” he said. “Hugo Lloris was in the national team and sent a text to me, ‘gaffer, it’s true about Llorente?’
“I said ‘yes, we sign Llorente’. He said ‘wow, fantastic player.’ That is the impact that he has on the changing room. Because all the players respect him.
“And then they start to meet him, how he is, he is very warm, very friendly, it was fantastic. It’s a big impact for our changing room.”