Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham revolution has been fired by young talent. Either in the shape of shrewd signings like Dele Alli or players such as Harrys Kane and Winks, who are both “one of their own”.
Those young, hungry, adaptable footballers have formed the backbone of the Argentine’s best work in North London, ready to show passion for the club, take on every word their manager says and also be patient in pursuit of opportunities.
There is a clear pathway to the first team under Pochettino, the man who has given so many members of the current England squad their debuts and who is unwavering in his faith in youth.
Pochettino has a squad well-stocked with youthful stars but the next generation is coming. Scott Parker is overseeing the development of their Under-18 squad and one name is currently standing out above the rest; Reo Griffiths.
U18s FT: Spurs 9-0 Arsenal – Griffiths added another (88mins) to round off a dominant performance against a slightly younger Gunners side and end the season with another impressive win. #COYS pic.twitter.com/YqHd78nsJ5
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 24, 2018
Parker’s men embarrassed their local rivals Arsenal on Tuesday, with Griffiths bagging four and setting up another three as Spurs ran out 9-0 winners, which has brought him into the spotlight somewhat.
In actual fact, Griffiths has been enjoying an incredible season at youth level. He has 27 goals this season, as well as four assists. He could well go on to be a livewire like Jermain Defoe was at White Hart Lane.
In a summer when Pochettino may well be looking for a back-up to Kane – for the third straight season, after the signings of Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente have not worked out at all – the Argentine could do a lot worse than turn to youth again and promote Griffiths.
Tottenham need to stop wasting money on expensive backups; they simply don’t have the money to compete with the big boys anyway so spending on squad players feels like a waste of what funds they do have. Younger players are generally the cheapest and most agreeable squad fillers around.
The big stumbling block is that Griffiths’ contract is due to expire at the end of the season and there has been precious little to suggest that he will sign a new one. RB Leipzig have also been linked with a swoop for the hitman.
They have to do what they can to tie him down. He has four hat-tricks this season – including back-to-back trebles in February – already and after yet another game where he was the star of the show, making goals and taking chances, such a clinical finisher will have plenty of suitors.
The comparison to Defoe comes because he is sharp of mind and foot, a fox in the box who can score all different types of goals. Young players are often full of tricks but not end product but he has that ruthless edge that Defoe always had, even at a tender age.