Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino feels it is important that the Premier League club puts its faith in English players, with the 44-year-old manager stressing the need to use players who are native to the country in which they are appearing.
The Argentine club manager said it is imperative that the Tottenham squad has a strong English identity. "We are an English club and, for me, it's important to provide a good balance between the player and to keep the culture. We are living in England," Pochettino explained, according to Sky Sports.
"English culture is important and you can't be in an English club using Argentinian culture, or French, Italian, or whatever. I was in Spain [as a player and later coach of Espanyol] and when I first arrived in Spain it was the same. I think it's important to give the opportunity to the players from the nationality of the club."
Pochettino is determined to help create a strong sense of identity among his squad, describing it as one of his responsibilities. "I think it's about identity and it's my responsibility as a manager to give the players the opportunity. I believe in all of the players," Pochettino said of his Tottenham squad, which features the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane.
"I don't look at their passports before I play them, but it's important if you're in Italy, Spain, England or France, to show respect and to try to keep the identity of the club. It's important for the foreign players who come here know that they have to integrate themselves in your culture, the English culture, and not the opposite way."
Despite this, Pochettino revealed it is vitally important his players are hard-working professionals, irrespective of their nationalities. "It happens a lot, not just in football," the Tottenham boss shared. "But in football if the manager is Argentinian, he brings a lot of Argentinian players, or Spanish people, for me it does not work. It can work for a short period, but not for a long time.
"It's not just English players, or different nationality, it's about being good professionals. The passport is not important.
"The most important thing in the dressing room is being a good professional. Then if they are English good, and it's important to keep the identity and the culture. Then you must have a very good player that we have now."