Having overseen one of the busiest recruitment drives of the summer, André Villas-Boas expects Tottenham Hotspur FC to be a "totally different proposition" to the team that finished fifth in England and reached the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals last season.
Funded by the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid CF for a reported world-record fee of €100m, the north London club signed seven players before the 2 September transfer deadline, firming up at both ends of the field. Vlad Chiricheş arrived from FC Steaua Bucureşti to bolster the defence, while Paulinho and Étienne Capoue have stiffened the midfield.
However, it was the acquisition of attacking talents Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli, Roberto Soldado and, for a club record €30m, Erik Lamela that really whetted the fans' appetite. As Villas-Boas told UEFA.com, Spurs' aim is to "play creative football and that is why we were very active with this type of player in the market".
"We re-strengthened well, mostly with creative players who possess great ability on the ball," said Villas-Boas, who, at 33 years and 213 days, became the youngest coach to win a major European club competition when he guided FC Porto to UEFA Europa League glory in 2011.
"All of them will have difficulties adapting to the pace of the Premier League, but all of them are creative players. A couple of them have gone through their adaptation very quickly – the likes of Paulinho, Soldado and Capoue – and we expect the others to do so because they are wonderfully gifted players."
Spurs, who won 3-0 against Tromsø IL on matchday one, continue their UEFA Europa League Group K odyssey with a visit to FC Anji Makhachkala on Thursday. With Moldovan champions FC Sheriff also in the mix, it is a demanding section that will put the depth of Villas-Boas' remoulded squad firmly to the test.
"Last year we were also in a very difficult group [NK Maribor, Panathinaikos FC, SS Lazio] and this year it's the same," he said. "Our objective is to progress. We know we have to make a big, big effort regarding the trips, but we will be ready and we have learned from last season that we can't use the Europa League as an excuse. We have to use it as an example and the players will be fully motivated to do it this season too."
To watch more of UEFA.com's interview with Villas-Boas, click on the video player above
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