In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, Gary Mabbutt has admitted that some of Tottenham’s youngsters should look at Harry Kane’s development as an example, while also urging patience over the key decision of when to blood them regularly in the first team.
Kane is now one of Europe’s most prolific strikers, but it hasn’t always been so straightforward for the England captain.
Despite making his debut as a teenager under Harry Redknapp, Kane didn’t become a regular in the first-team until three years later, which came after he spent time out on loan with Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester City.
Spurs currently have no fewer than 15 players currently out on loan – with the likes of Oliver Skipp, Harvey White and Ryan Sessegnon, three of Tottenham’s hottest prospects, all currently performing well at their respective clubs.
And Mabbutt said that Spurs must be patient with some of their youngsters – using Kane’s pathway as a prime example. He told FFC:
“I mean, you know, we’ve got some great youngsters coming through. If we talk about our players that we’ve got out out on loan – Oliver Skipp at Norwich, fantastic, having a great season. Troy Parrott.
“And players that we’ve got on loan that maybe didn’t quite initially do it at Spurs, Juan Foyth, we’ve got Cameron Carter-Vickers, Ryan Sessegnon, a number of players that are out on loan, who when you look at what happened to [Harry] Kane, some players don’t develop straight from a 16-year-old/17-year-old straight into a first-team player, there are players that develop a little bit later, take a little but longer to get into that mode.
“I mean, Harry Kane, I remember being at the club and with the coaching staff, and there was a lot of debate going on. ‘Can he make that move from development level up to first-team level?’ He was given outings in the Europa League, and didn’t really work for him, went back out on loan somewhere, comeback again, an outing in the League Cup, didn’t really work for him, back out on loan again, it happened on three or four occasions, until he finally got the opportunity.”
Tottenham really do have reason for optimism here.
Skipp has been one of the standout players in the Championship this term, White recently netted his first senior goal at Portsmouth and prior to his injury, Sessegnon has been gaining valuable experience with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.
But as shown with Kane, patience is going to prove key.