Academy Spotlight: Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur’s season ended on a sour note, but with a new season comes new opportunities for the club and playing squad to evolve as Spurs look ahead to the pre-season.
One element of this will of course be through the transfer market, where the zero incomings of last season will almost certainly not be replicated. But as a result of the club’s brand new stadium, Spurs will certainly be looking at what players they can elevate from within their youth structure to play important roles next season. 

Their International Champions Cup fixtures, in which they will play Juventus, Manchester United and Inter Milan will provide a great opportunity to bleed some new potential stars, or give additional opportunities to squad players who have had bit-part roles throughout the 2018/19 season.
 

Headlining this crop is the mercurial Marcus Edwards, who spent this past season on loan in the Eredivisie with SBV Excelsior. The club’s relegation should not distract from a promising season for the 20-year-old midfielder, who played 1,727 minutes and contributed two goals and four assists. The former English Under-19 European Championship winner was obviously content with his performances too, posting this video of his season highlights on his Twitter account last month. It is also important not to forget that Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino likened Edwards to Lionel Messi after he debuted for Spurs in 2016. While the comparison was fleeting, Pochettino might look to Edwards to help take over some of the creative burden in midfield.

Other opportunities will arise for players that have remained closer to the club over the last season. Kyle Walker-Peters has found opportunities difficult to come by throughout his time at the club, despite contract renewals that have been signed in the past 18 months. He played just 10 times this season, perhaps a little disappointing for a player whose versatility allows him to play in either of the full-back positions.

A more unknown figure who will look to demonstrate his qualities in pre-season will be Tashan Oakley-Boothe. A World Cup winner at under-17 level, the central midfielder has played just one minute of professional football with Spurs. He has however, struggled with injuries in the last 12-18 months. This has hindered his progression through the youth ranks, yet the 19-year-old has still been a strong contributor at under-23 level and under-19 level in the UEFA Youth League.
 

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Oliver Skipp, Kazaiah Sterling, Timothy Eyoma and Paris Mahogma are amongst others who featured at UEFA Youth League level for Tottenham last season. Spurs were knocked out in the round of sixteen by a Porto team that went on to claim the title, but these players will be hoping that their performances will help them earn preseason roles during the International Champions Cup that help to propel them into a first-team role. Skipp is the most prominent of the four, having featured 12 times for Spurs in 2018/19.

Tottenham have brought through numerous academy graduates in recent seasons – namely their superstar striker Harry Kane – and it is a tradition that looks set to continue.