Spending £8m on an unknown Argentine defender in the summer came as a bit of a surprise, but I was assured when Pochettino came out to laud Juan Foyth`s “massive potential” at the time.
He had played just eight senior games for Estudiantes after rising through the youth ranks at the Argentinian club at a rate of knots. Starting out as an attacking midfielder, their academy decided his height could be better suited to a role in the backline.
With his passing and technical ability already up to scratch, combined with his unflappable nature, the coaches were confident he was on course to become a starter for the Argentina national team. His move to England was seen as a great move for the youngster to learn from a fellow countryman, who played the same position, and is an excellent developer of young talent.
Since his arrival on these shores, we have seen bits and pieces of the 20 year old. He does look assured on the ball, and relatively calm in possession. There is certainly room for improvement though, and Football.London is reporting that the manager will be focusing heavily on his development in the international break.
With Toby`s future far from certain, it could mean Juan is given more chances in the first team to impress. The manager is definitely a huge fan, and his faith in his protege certainly hasn`t waned months after his arrival from Argentina. Just a few weeks ago, Poch had this to say:
‘We need to think of Juan Foyth, he is 20 now and a great talent too. He only needs time to adapt himself to the Premier League. He is going to surprise many people. Juan is a great kid with a lot of quality to become one of the fantastic centre-backs in the Premier League and Europe too.’
From those words alone, it`s apparent to me that once his adaptation period is over, he will be thrust into more league matches. So far, he has featured just eight times in cup competitions and the Champions League, conceding seven goals and helping to keep four clean sheets.
We have been linked to Stuttgart`s Benjamin Pavard and Leverkusen`s Jonathan Tah in recent weeks as potential options to replace Toby, but they are both young defenders with much still to learn. I have a sneaking suspicion that a certain Argentine will be thrust into the limelight instead before we sign another prospect at centre back. What do you think? Let me know in the poll.