Ryan Mason may well have been at Tottenham Hotspur since 2007, but the 23-year-old has had to wait an extremely long time to be given a chance to showcase his talents in the Spurs first team.
Mauricio Pochettino must have seen something in the midfielder that Tottenham’s previous managers haven’t, and Mason has certainly not disappointed since making his Premier League bow against Arsenal in late-September. The Enfield-born star, who has been loaned out on numerous occasions during his Spurs career, has finally made the step-up this season – going onto play 22 times for Lilywhites – and becoming a regular feature in Pochettino’s first team plans.
Mason has forced himself in front of the more senior players at White Hart Lane, and he seems to be getting better and better every week. Mason, along with Harry Kane, have been the standout bright sparks for the north London club this season – both players were instrumental in the 2-1 win over their fierce rivals Arsenal last weekend. The former England U20 international ran the show in the middle of the park for the Lilywhites, and he played like a midfielder who had been doing just that at the highest level for a number of years.
Mason loves to have possession of the ball, he’s constantly looking for space to receive it – when the ball is at his feet, he rarely gives it away and more often than not makes a decisive pass. The former Doncaster and Millwall loanee has become one of the first names on Mauricio Pochettino’s team-sheet, and the only dilemma the Spurs boss has on a matchday now, is who’s going to partner him in midfield.
Tottenham’s 43-year-old goalkeeper Brad Friedel praised his fellow teammate in an interview with talkSPORT last week, he said: “I don’t think many Tottenham fans thought that he would be in our 25-man squad this year and maybe thought he wouldn’t even be at the club.
Friedel added; “In pre-season he impressed that much that they had to give him his opportunity and since he banged in that goal in the League Cup against Nottingham Forest he’s gone from strength to strength.”
Mason’s well documented loan spells and injury setbacks have undoubtedly played a huge part in his late development. At 23, you couldn’t have blamed the midfielder from wanting a move away from White Hart Lane, but to his credit, he sat tight and believed in his own ability, and is now reaping the rewards.
Nobody could have envisioned just how big an impact Ryan Mason and Harry Kane would have made at Tottenham this season. In fact, if you would have said back in August that Spurs’ push for a top four spot this season, will have a lot to do with Mason and Kane, you would be labelled as utter mad.
Don’t be too surprised to see Mason in Roy Hodgson’s England plans in the not so distant future, and if he carries on playing the way he has done since cementing a place in the Lilywhites starting XI, then he’s all set for a very bright future at While Hart Lane.