Behind the scenes of Spurs’ deal to sign Joe Rodon and why Mourinho is so happy
We’ve seen every kind of Jose Mourinho since he first arrived in England.
We’ve witnessed the special one, the charming one, the mischievous one, the happy one, the miserable one, the slightly unpleasant one and the humble one.
Behind the scenes at Tottenham, the club staff and players have seen many of the sides to the Portuguese in his first 11 months in charge.
On the whole it’s been positive with Mourinho understanding from the off that he was taking on a very different challenge at a club that was building towards something but without the means of his previous employers.
Those inside the club say that while the head coach still enjoys testing people, provoking a reaction and he certainly let his feelings be known inside Hotspur Way about the delays in signing a striker, Mourinho has been the content one this summer.
All of Tottenham’s transfers go through a committee, with Mourinho, chairman Daniel Levy and technical performance director Steve Hitchen – in essence the club’s director of football – among those who have to agree to a deal before it can go through.
Mourinho, who gets on well with both men, has got his way though more than once, particularly with the Carlos Vinicius signing, the 25-year-old Brazilian his top choice from the beginning of the summer.
The head coach admitted on Friday when conversation turned to the club’s transfer window: “It was fantastic, it was more than I was expecting.
“In my analysis of the team’s needs and evolution we were talking about different targets but I never thought we would go so far as we did, especially because of the moment and I can only praise what the board did for the team.”
Mourinho said he got “almost” all of his targets in the window, with Spurs missing out on Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar.
However, they made up for that somewhat, signing Swansea’s talented young centre-back Joe Rodon in the final minutes of the domestic transfer window.
Even that deal for the 22-year-old shows the backing Mourinho has got from Levy, who got Swansea down from £18million to an £11million fee with add-ons for the Wales international, using his relationship with Jonathan Barnett, the agent who represents both Gareth Bale and Rodon to help broker the deal.
football.london understands that late on Thursday night, the two teams were still far apart in their valuations of the defender and a deal looked unlikely, despite the player wanting to make the move.
The following morning though a breakthrough was made and the player travelled to Hotspur Way to complete the formalities of his medical and personal terms as the clubs thrashed out the final stages of negotiations.
Bale and Ben Davies had both been pushing strongly behind the scenes for Spurs to sign their talented compatriot and they did so right as the transfer window drew to a close.
Rodon, who eventually signed a five-year deal with the club, will initially learn his trade in the Premier League alongside Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez, but there is real hope that he will eventually challenge to become a key man along with Japhet Tanganga, who is currently struggling with injuries.
One downside for the Welshman is that he will not be able to play in the Europa League group stage matches as he was signed after last week’s registration deadline. That competition would have been an ideal place to get him early game time.
If Spurs progress to the knockout stages a decision will have to be made if Rodon is to be included because, as with Davies, he does not qualify as homegrown due to Swansea’s affiliation with the Welsh FA
Also, despite Tottenham’s centre-back injury woes with Dier a doubt and Tanganga out, Rodon cannot be used on Sunday against West Ham because he was signed after Friday’s noon deadline.
Heading out of the club on deadline day was Cameron Carter-Vickers on a season-long loan move to Bournemouth.
football.london understands Spurs took up an option to extend the USA international’s contract by a year so he’ll still have 12 months left when he returns meaning they won’t lose him for nothing.
In a tough year financially Mourinho was still backed with some incredibly clever deals brokered by Levy, with transfer costs spread across instalments in most cases.
The Tottenham chairman has done everything possible, within the club’s means, to ensure the Spurs boss has all the options he needs to challenge this season on all fronts.
Mourinho had a smile on his face for much of his press conference on Friday and that’s because he can feel the shift in mentality at the club that comes with seven new signings with plenty of quality.
“I can feel in the players these feelings that I love which is that they are happy but they are worried,” he said of his Spurs squad.
“They are happy that the squad is good, they are happy to see players coming in and making the squad better but at the same time they are worried about themselves. This is the kind of feeling you have in the top teams and we are having that now.”
It was pointed out to Mourinho that a body language expert had identified that his posture at Tottenham showed he was far happier than he has been in recent years.
“I’m happy. Of course I’m happy. I’m happy since I arrived. To be honest I don’t know what the experts say about my body language but I’m happy since I arrived,” he said.
“Last season, for us guys who get the job mid-season, it’s never easy and you get through problems and you have to adapt and last season was so difficult for us.
“So of course there were moments when I was not happy. This season I’m happy. Totally happy with the squad that the club gave me.
“Very, very happy of course with my players and with my staff and the motivations that we have.”
Spirits are high at Tottenham and with Rodon’s arrival the club completed their seventh incoming deal of the two transfer windows and brought the balance to the head coach’s squad that he desired.
Now it’s down to Mourinho to do what he’s done everywhere else in his career and deliver success.