According to a recent report from Football.London, Tottenham Hotspur’s Jack Roles is struggling to break into the first-team under Mauricio Pochettino.
The departure of Mousa Dembele in January has left Spurs short of a key midfield lynchpin, but the stellar midfield partnership of Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks have shown they are capable of coping without the Belgium international.
Winks, in particular, has been outstanding this season, defying his doubters with every passing fixture. The 23-year-old’s quality is obvious but sceptics have often pointed towards his lack of penetration and goal scoring prowess as a reason to doubt his talent.
Neither Sissoko or Winks possess a clinical goalscoring ability in the final-third – a claim which is vindicated by the fact the midfield pairing have scored just one goal between them in 41 Premier League appearances this season.
That is hardly a problem which is desperately in need of addressing, but with Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier also offering defensive quality it’s fair to say that Pochettino is lacking a plan B in this area.
However, that problem could well be addressed if the Argentine is willing to offer a route into the first-team for Jack Roles, who has showcased a potency at youth level which points towards a bright future in the senior squad.
So far this season the 19-year-old has scored six goals and provided six assists from 22 appearances for the U23s, including two goals from six games in the UEFA Youth League. By comparison, Winks scored just three times from 32 U23 outings before he made the step up to the first-team.
The problem for Roles is that his glowing performances at youth level are yet to convince Pochettino to either promote him to the senior squad or offer him a new contract.
The teenager’s current deal is due to expire in June and, despite the fact he is banging on the door for a first-team opportunity, it appears that his long-term future is hanging in the balance.
There is hope for Roles in the fact that Spurs are clearly lacking a more attacking-minded alternative to Winks, and Pochettino’s policy on internal development and the promotion of youth suggests an opportunity could be just around the corner.
The flair and goalscoring threat the Cypriot youth player could offer in midfield should be playing on the minds of Tottenham’s decision makers ahead of the summer.
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