After years at big-spending clubs, the Portuguese tactician might now be in an environment he is not used to with regards to transfer activity
Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Ramon Vega says Jose Mourinho might no longer be accustomed to working with a team less competitive in the transfer market.
The Spurs manager arrived at the club last November to take over from Mauricio Pochettino, and inherited largely the same squad which reached the Uefa Champions League final the previous season.
Mourinho’s January transfer business was highlighted by the £27 million signing of Dutch forward Steven Bergwijn from PSV Eindhoven, a loan acquisition of Gedson Fernandes from Benfica and the taking up of the £27 million purchase option on midfielder Giovani Lo Celso from an initial loan deal.
The amount of money involved is a notable departure from his previous jobs at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United where big money characterised his signings.
Despite pressure on Mourinho to qualify for next season's Champions League, Vega feels that the manager might have been aware of Spurs’ unfashionable spending habits prior to his return to London, but was relishing the challenge of proving himself with a lower-spending side.
“Tottenham Hotspur is not a straight forward team to manage for any manager in the world, to be honest,” Vega told Goal.
“Jose Mourinho has of course an enormous track record. He was very successful at big clubs. Of course, he comes on the back[drop] of a wonderful job Mauricio Pochettino did at Spurs with an extremely low budget, hardly any transfer, actually no [big] transfers at all for three years and building one of the best teams in the world.
“Now Jose Mourinho has definitely, without doubt, some pressure to win something for Spurs because Spurs have to be [in the] top-four in the Premier League.
"He starts to realise the Spurs philosophy, how to manage a club for [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy is even more stricter in terms of the financial capacity and spending on players.
“Of course looking into lots of young talented players as you already know [or] see within the squad, Harry Kane, Dele Alli [and] all young players from the squad coming through. Maybe that is something new for Mourinho as well.
“Maybe that is something he wanted to have as a challenge. I think Mourinho always needed the challenge and I tell you that now as an ex-player at Tottenham Hotspur that’s definitely for certain Spurs is a challenge to manage.”
Mourinho, however, did not work with a huge budget in crafting his 2009/10 treble-winning Inter Milan side, but lured some of the best players in the world like Samuel Eto’o and ex-Brazil captain Lucio.
“He still has to show that he can do something great for Spurs and hopefully he can do that,” said Vega.
Taking over a team left 14th on the Premier League standings, Mourino has managed to steer Spurs seven rungs up the ladder, but securing a Champions League berth still appears a daunting task.
Thursday’s trip to Sheffield United will see Spurs continue their mission to at least salvage a Uefa Europa League spot amid rumours of Mourinho eyeing the likes of Olivier Giroud, Kurt Zouma, Aaron Ramsey, Thomas Meunier and Brazil skipper Thiago Silva for next season.