Tottenham’s failure to nurture Marcus Edwards’ talent is on Mauricio Pochettino

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This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

According to Football.London journalist Alasdair Gold, speaking during a Tottenham Q&A (entry 13:03), academy graduate Marcus Edwards is likely to move abroad in a bid to progress his career.

What’s the word?

The 20-year-old has come through the ranks at Spurs and appeared to make a breakthrough into the first-team after impressing during the club’s pre-season tour in 2016.

However, since then the England U20 international has struggled to feature for Mauricio Pochettino’s side and has had loan spells at Norwich and Excelsior.

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Now, Gold has claimed that following his time in the Netherlands last season, Edwards is likely to follow in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho and Reece Oxford in moving abroad.

Gold adds the Spurs academy graduate doesn’t seem to have any place in Pochettino’s plans and there are simply “too many players ahead of him now”.

A failure on Pochettino’s part

Back in September 2016, the Spurs boss made the cardinal sin that plenty of managers tend to do with a young prospect – he got carried away. Pochettino drew a lofty comparison between the styles of play of Edwards and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, and insisted he could be a “top player“. One of the key things the Argentine also mentioned was that it was their “responsibility” to help him become that.

Fast forward almost three years, and seeing Edwards nowhere near Spurs’ first-team plans is shocking to say the least. The 20-year-old has had his attitude questioned, and that is never a good look for a young star looking to make it to the top. But perhaps Pochettino ought to have personally intervened in his career.

Sending him on loan to build up first-team experience is understandable, but Edwards could have benefited much more from being around the hard-working environment in north London. It would have taught him what is required to become the very best, and he would have been rubbing shoulders with fellow English stars like Harry Kane and Dele Alli. They no doubt would have set him straight if things went awry.

Let’s also not forget that the manager left Jan Vertgonhen out against Aston Villa last weekend due to question marks over his fitness and effort in pre-season, and that sort of no-nonsesne approach could have set Edwards straight had he stuck around.

So whilst Pochettino’s work on developing players is quite rightly applauded, the career path of Edwards is becoming a blot on the Spurs boss’ copybook.

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