Marcus Edwards is a name that will be familiar to a number of Tottenham Hotspur fans.
This despite the fact that the attacking midfielder has played just once for the club, in a 5-0 thrashing of Gillingham in the third round of the 2016 League Cup.
The 20-year-old – then 17 – came on as a second-half substitute and played 15 minutes. There were warm ripples of applause when he came on the pitch, such was the excitement to see another academy product make his debut under Mauricio Pochettino.
And, since then, there has been little of note for Edwards to do in north London.
A loan spell at Norwich City did not work out; he played once before returning to Spurs, citing personal reasons. A Daily Telegraph report claimed that his attitude had been questioned at Carrow Road, as he repeatedly failed to keep good time when turning up to training and first-team meetings.
And yet there is a terrific young footballer within Edwards.
He has been capped at every England youth level from Under-16 to Under-20 and has scored for all of them.
In the Spurs’ youth academy, he has played 28 games for the club’s Under-23 side, scoring 10 goals and laying on seven assists.
This season, he has been playing senior football in Holland, with Excelsior. He has netted twice and laid on two assists, with a brilliant performance coming against FC Emmen in the Eredivisie, where he scored once and set up another.
Football.London‘s Spurs correspondent Alasdair Gold has been keeping a close eye on Edwards and said in a Q&A on the website that he believes this summer is make-or-break for him.
He said: “He’s been doing really well on his loan at Excelsior Rotterdam since the turn of the year. It looks like it’s clicked out in the Netherlands for Edwards and when he returns to Hotspur Way this summer it will be interesting to see what happens.
“He will have one year left on his deal and the young midfielder and Pochettino will need to have a chat about what his future holds. Will it be at Tottenham? If not then the club will likely look to do a permanent deal for him this summer in order to get something for his services.”
Such is his contract situation, it appears that it would take more than a few consistent performances this season for Edwards to work his way back into Pochettino’s plans.
But stranger things have happened. The likes of Andros Townsend and, of course, Harry Kane have embarked on numerous loan spells before making their breakthroughs at Spurs.
Edwards, once feted as one of the best talents of his age in the country, could well do similar.
This season and this summer will shape the remainder of his career and his destiny at Spurs.