Mauricio Pochettino decided not to sign a striker - Daniel Levy tells THST
Tottenham's decision not to sign a striker in the January was down to head coach Mauricio Pochettino, according to club chairman Daniel Levy.
Pochettino admits that Harry Kane is the club's only "proper striker" but Spurs did not make a senior signing in last month's transfer window, despite links to a host of forwards including West Brom's Saido Berahino and Moussa Dembele of Fulham.
When quizzed on transfers, Pochettino has repeatedly stressed that it is not his "philosophy" to make signings, explaining that he would rather promote a young player than buy a forward who would not improve Tottenham's squad.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Dembele underwent a medical at Tottenham, only for the deal to break down because Fulham preferred a loan-back until the summer and Spurs wanted an immediate transfer.
In a meeting with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust (THST), Levy said Pochettino chose not to sign a forward, despite available funds, but admitted the head coach would have "perhaps" liked to sign a young striker.
"Daniel Levy also explained that transfer funds would be available should Mauricio Pochettino identify a player he felt could improve our squad," read the minutes of Wednesday's board-to-board meeting.
"Funds had been available in January. Mauricio Pochettino was not a manager who believed that by simply spending, the squad would be improved. The decision to not sign a striker was Mauricio Pochettino's, and although he would have perhaps liked a young striker, he will only sign a player of the quality that can make a difference."
Spurs allowed centre-back Federico Fazio to return to his former club Sevilla on loan in January, leaving Pochettino with just four central defenders, although Eric Dier has played almost exclusively in midfield this season, while Jan Vertonghen is sidelined with a knee complain until at least March.
Pochettino has mentioned USA under-21 international Cameron Carter-Vickers, 18, as a player who could step-up to the first team if necessary and Levy explained that the Fazio deal was sanctioned because of the club's faith in youth.
"Daniel Levy referenced that the Fazio loan deal had been possible because Mauricio Pochettino, [head of coaching and player development] John McDermott and [head of recritment] Paul Mitchell are confident in the abilities of a younger player to step up to the first team if required," read the minutes.
Levy also confirmed that McDermott was now in charge of all teams below the first team, including U21s, and had an input on transfers, while the chairman refused to elaborate on whether Pochettino would be handed a new contract. The Argentine has three-and-a-half years left on his existing deal.