Somewhat awkwardly, Pochettino twice refused to field question on the capture of the Brazil international following Spurs’ 2-0 win over Manchester United on transfer deadline day – a misunderstanding for which he subsequently, rather graciously, apologised.
Even today, his only real comment about his £25million signing was to say that he was back in Paris doing “private things” and probably would not be up to match fitness in time to face Liverpool on Sunday.
“I think he is still doing things. He was yesterday doing some tests with our sports science and medical staff and today he is in Paris doing private things and we hope tomorrow he can stay here and start to work with the team,” he said. “But maybe he needs to work a little bit alone to work with the team. I don’t believe he will play on Sunday. I don’t say yes or no but I don’t believe it will be possible.”
Even when pressed, his analysis was frighteningly straightforward.
“He’s fast and he can run forward, and he can fit with the team perfectly. We hope his adaptation will be fast and quick.
“He has some different qualities, but it is not going to change our principles, our philosophy of playing football is so strong. I think he is going to make the effort to adapt to our philosophy, and of course we are going to adapt a little bit when he is available to play. But I think he is a player that can adapt completely to our philosophy and our way.
“For the club it was an opportunity to add him, because he can bring different qualities to the squad. He is an experienced player, young but with a lot of experience, playing at a big club like PSG. The previous season he scored a lot of goals. For us it’s very helpful to have him.”