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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino backs Juan Foyth to make big impact

LONDON -- Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has hailed the "massive potential" of Juan Foyth and explained why it took so long to sign the Argentina under-20 international.

Spurs identified Foyth as a target last season but they did not complete a £10 million deal for the centre-back until the day before the transfer deadline.

Estudiantes president Juan Sebastian Veron -- a former international teammate of the Spurs boss -- travelled to London in June for talks over Foyth but Spurs' interest cooled on Pochettino's advice when the Argentine club upped the asking price following interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

But Pochettino says the 19-year-old will be worth the wait, saying he has all the qualities to be a success at Spurs and in the Premier League.

"He is so good with the ball at his feet. He is so calm and relaxed -- I think it's fantastic," Pochettino said. "It's true that he is young but he can be very aggressive and strong, too. He has very good legs, a good mentality and he is so mature for his age.

"We saw him playing at Estudiantes, and started to talk with him and his parents and family to try to convince him to join us. It was a big, big deal. It took three months to arrange with Estudiantes because a lot of clubs were interested in him. In the end he decided to join us. It was good for him and good for us, too."

Foyth has said Pochettino's record of blooding young players was a major factor in joining Spurs, and says the manager has promised him opportunities to play if he impresses in training.

Juan Foyth, right, joined Tottenham despite rival interest from Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

The teenager spent the international break at Hotspur Way, Spurs' North London training base, but Pochettino says he is unlikely to be rushed into a debut in Saturday's league match at Everton.

"Like all the young players, we'll try not to put pressure on him. It's a massive change coming from Argentina to England. The football is completely different, the game is completely different," Pochettino, himself a centre-back who moved to Europe at a young age, added.

"He needs to settle in England first of all and then little by little start to improve, adapt to the game here. I think it's early to think about giving him the possibility to play. But he's doing so well in the last week and we are so happy because his potential is massive."

Serge Aurier, a £23m deadline-day signing from PSG, is not expected to play at Goodison Park either after only arriving at the club on Thursday following the international break but defender Davinson Sanchez is likely to be on the bench again.

Fernando Llorente, who joined from Swansea for £12m on deadline day, is in line for a Tottenham debut.

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.


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