West Ham signing Nene starred under Pochettino in Spain; could he face Tottenham?

Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino and new West Ham signing Nene worked together at Espanyol.

West Ham United made a surprise transfer move this week, signing Brazilian playmaker Nene on a free transfer after he left Qatari side Al-Gharafa.

The former Paris Saint-Germain star, 33, has penned a deal until the end of the season, with Hammers boss Sam Allardyce in need of attacking reinforcements after the recent injury to Andy Carroll.

His availability is already a hot topic. West Ham chairman David Gold tweeted earlier this week that Nene could be on the bench for the London derby against Tottenham on Sunday, but manager Allardyce played down that possibility in his press conference today, suggesting that he isn't quite fit enough yet.

If Nene does play, he will be going up against a familiar face - his former Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino, who is of course now Tottenham manager.

Nene was on a season-long deal with the Spaniards during the 2008-09 season, but Pochettino only took charge for the second half of that campaign.

Before Pochettino's arrival, Nene had no goals and two assists to his name in a solid if unspectacular season - but that all change when Pochettino took over.

Nene played 18 games under Pochettino, racking up four goals and three assists as he finished the campaign strongly through Pochettino's guidance.

The Brazilian told media at the time that he wanted to stay with the Barcelona-based club, but the deal fell through - and he went on to be a star with Paris Saint-Germain from 2010 to 2013.

The two know each other well, and Pochettino will be wary of having to face him even if Allardyce is playing down the possibility of him featuring this weekend.

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