Kyle Walker breathed a sigh of relief after hearing Mauricio Pochettino had agreed a new Tottenham contract and insists the club’s title challenge is not over yet.
Pochettino has struck a verbal agreement over a two-year extension, which will keep him at White Hart Lane until 2021. The deal is now with the Argentinian’s lawyers and expected to be confirmed in the coming days.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain had all reportedly considered Pochettino for their top jobs next season after the 44-year-old has led Spurs to second in the Barclays Premier League and all-but secured Champions League qualification.
Walker was being interviewed upstairs at Tottenham’s training ground on Friday as Pochettino announced his new deal and when the full-back was told, his reaction was telling.
“I’ve been waiting for someone to say that for ages now! He’s said it? Thank god for that. I’m over the moon,” Walker said.
“It is a relief. There is always going to be speculation. It happens all the time.
“This player is going here, this manager is going there but I think that’s not for me to talk about or for any other player to talk about. We just need to conduct ourselves professionally.”
Pochettino is an immensely popular figure in the Tottenham dressing room and it is understood there was a growing nervousness among the players about their head coach’s future.
The squad’s young crop are particularly loyal with the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Erik Lamela and Danny Rose, as well as Walker, all enjoying remarkable progress under his tutelage.
“For me, he’s not just the manager on the pitch but it’s how he is off the pitch. That says everything for me,” Walker said.
“Some of the managers that have come in, you know…there’s young players here now and sometimes they do need an arm around them and to say, ‘you can do this’, sit them down, ‘look at the TV screen, you can do this better’, because we are still learning.
“We are probably not in our prime yet, most of us, so we are still learning and he is the man to take this club forward and onto new levels.
“It’s just everything about him, his aura as well. It’s just fantastic.”