Tottenham Hotspur could have the next Christian Eriksen already in their ranks.
Earlier this week, young academy gem Alfie Devine committed his future to the north London outfit by signing a new contract that will run to 2027.
The 18-year-old dynamo was poached from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2020 and has excelled across the youth teams at Hotspur Way, earning a first-team debut during an FA Cup tie with non-league Marine back in January 2021, where he became the club’s youngest-ever player and goalscorer.
Now also capped at international level for England U19s, alongside his Lilywhites teammate Dane Scarlett, it appears as if Spurs view the teenager as having a big and bright future for the club.
According to The Athletic, first-team boss Antonio Conte has been impressed by his development and it’s easy to see why, given the fact that he scored nine goals from 17 appearances in the Premier League 2 last term, as well as providing three assists from midfield.
Capable of playing as a no.8 or no.10, Tottenham could finally have a true heir to the playmaking Dane, particularly as they failed to sign someone in this creative mould during the summer transfer window.
Eriksen was renowned for his immense dead-ball delivery and ability to run the game from the engine room and that’s similar to Devine, who has been ripping it up at U23 level for quite some time, well beyond his years.
“He’s just the whole package,” claimed the 18-year-old’s former coach Harry Brooks to The Athletic just last year.
“The talent, the attitude, the ability to always turn it on. The tenacity, the aggression. When it comes to looking at that whole picture, he’s the best player in the academy. He could play for England one day.”
Former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is said to have compared him to Bruno Fernandes, who very much is in the Eriksen-type role for Manchester United, whilst some have also likened him to ex-Everton star Tim Cahill due to his ability to arrive late in the box.
“He’s a kid that basically is a midfield player but with an instinct to appear in finishing zones and to score goals,” Mourinho suggested after that Marine game.
GOAL have also suggested that the youngster is an ‘excellent’ set-piece taker, earning further similarities to the departed Denmark sensation.
If Conte feels he is lacking a creative piece throughout the remainder of 2022, then he ought to turn to the young starlet, who has clearly caught his eye, given the four-and-a-half-year contract extension.
In Devine, Spurs could well have their next Eriksen – a very, very mouthwatering prospect indeed.