One of Tottenham’s strengths this year has been their big squad. The benefits have been highlighted recently by the performances of Niko Kranjcar who has only started 3 Premier League games this year, but goals against Sunderland and Bolton won Spurs 4 points. Such a squad has meant that Harry Redknapp has had the luxury of loaning out his younger players to get some first team experience.
And this might just prove crucial in the future. Given the fact that Tottenham may have to build a new stadium, they will not have the transfer kitty available for huge spending. This happened when Arsenal moved and so it will happen at Spurs.
With this in mind, Tottenham are going to have to look to their youth system to find the best players of the future. Encouragingly, there are some great prospects in the Tottenham set up. With Gareth Bales’ recent rise and rise, turning to youth looks a likely option.
Here I look at six of the best Tottenham youngsters who could make a serious impact in the coming seasons. The fact is there are a lot of good young players at Tottenham and not will all will turn into great players. But who is the next Lee Barnard and who is the next Gareth Bale?
John Bostock made his debut in the Championship, for Crystal Palace, as a 15 year old. He is also Tottenham’s youngest player to play European football. As a 16 year old, he came on as a sub against Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Cup. He is of the Frank Lampard, goal scoring midfielder mould. He has spent the last two seasons at Brentford (where he was often played out of position) and then Hull, but has not really experienced the game time he needs to develop. In January his loan to Hull was cancelled and is now back at White Hart Lane. However, he is a very exciting young player, and managed to score this goal for Hull. He is only 19 and has time to develop. He may have stuttered in the last year, but is definitely one to watch out for in the future.
Parrett is a dynamic midfielder who drew attention from many of the big clubs in England as a 15 year old. He was coveted by Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal before signing for Tottenham. He made his first appearances for Tottenham Under-18s as a 16 year old and as an 18 year old he started his first game for the first team, against Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. He represented England in the European Under-19 Championships in France, earning many plaudits for his displays along the way. Like Bostock, he has not managed to make as big an impact at a lower league club as he would have liked, but he obviously has bags of potential.
Caulker is a centre back who has captained the Tottenham U-18 side, and represented the England U-19s. Unlike Bostock, he has had two successful seasons at lower league clubs. He broke into the first team at Yeovil last year and was arguably their best player. This season he is playing regularly for Bristol City in the Championship – he has been highly impressive. In November he won the Young Championship Young Player of the Month award. He is potentially the one to fill the shoes of injury plagued Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate.
Kane could make the biggest impact of all the players on this list. He is another attacking midfielder and only 17. He has made a genuinely exciting start to his career. In last year’s Tottenham U-18 season he scored 18 goals in 22 games. He has played three times for the England U-17s, scoring twice. He has also scored two goals for the England U-19 team. Kane has been on loan at Leyton Orient since January where he has made an encouraging start. He has started 1 game and come on as a sub 4 times; most importantly he has scored 3 goals. Watch this space.
Walker is currently playing for Aston Villa. The right back is already making waves with some of his performances. While Tottenham’s current right back, Alan Hutton, is starting to look like he is not quite good enough, Walker is looking like the future. He has shown he has a lot of potential, especially going forward and scored twice for Villa. While I still have time for Corluka at right back, I expect Walker to play a large part in next season’s campaign.
Sandro put in a great performance at the San Siro, and at 21 is still a young player. He showed he can handle the pressures of playing against an experienced Italian side. It takes a while for a young player to adapt to the Premiership, especially when making the transition from Brazilian to English football. It is only a matter of time before he proves himself as capable of being a good Premier League player; I think he will become a first team regular before too long.