According to reports, Southampton’s head of recruitment Paul Mitchell has handed in his notice ahead of an alleged move to Tottenham Hotspur.
According to a report in the Telegraph, Mitchell will be reunited with Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino in due course, taking on a role that will see him identify the best talent in the game as well as analysing the players currently at White Hart Lane.
The news will come as a huge blow to Southampton, who are enjoying an outstanding season when many expected them to falter following a summer of considerable change. But it is Mitchell’s impact that must be credited for ensuring the players who left St Mary’s have not been missed.
This is the great news for Tottenham, because as much as Ronald Koeman must be hailed for identifying certain talent, Mitchell has identified plenty more, and in many cases has successfully brought those players to the club.
Anyone can look at the best performing players and put them on a shopping list, but what Mitchell has seemingly done so well is sign not just great players, but also the right players.
Southampton have seen what that can mean this season, with new signings Graziano Pelle, Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic and Toby Alderweireld all slotting seamlessly into the Premier League.
At the same time Tottenham’s summer signings have taken time to settle, with the likes of Federico Fazio and Ben Davies failing to have any significant positive impact so far.
In fact Tottenham’s transfer dealings in recent times mean Mitchell’s mooted arrival would be a master-stroke.
Fazio, Vlad Chiriches, Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and the like all performed well for former clubs, but are they really Premier League players?
Mitchell’s reputation suggests he could have answered that question before they arrived at White Hart Lane, and if true, that can bodes well for Tottenham’s future.
If Mitchell does arrive, and is as successful in identifying and bringing in talent at Spurs as he was at Southampton, Pochettino and Daniel Levy may have plenty to smile about in the seasons to come.