It’s safe to say that since Kyle Walker departed north London to join Manchester City back in the summer of 2017 for a reported fee of £45m, Tottenham simply haven’t been able to find a perfect successor to him.
Numerous players have had their attempts at trying to make it work, including the likes of Serge Aurier, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker-Peters and even Japhet Tanganga this season.
Both Trippier and Walker-Peters are currently not at the club (the latter on loan at Southampton), Aurier can’t seem to escape from making howlers every-so-often, and Tanganga is playing out of position. It’s an area of real concern for Jose Mourinho both for this season and the coming years.
But one player who could help save millions for Daniel Levy and ENIC, is Dermi Lusala.
Only recently turned 17 back in January, Lusala is an England U16 international, where he has scored once in his five games. Predominantly a right-back, he has also shown his remarkable versatility at such a young age by also featuring on the opposite flank, and enjoying a stint at the heart of the defence too.
That in itself points to a teenager who is mature beyond his years, and is taking in the coaching at academy level. This season has seen him feature across three different competitions for the youth team, playing in the U18 Premier League, FA Youth Cup, and also the UEFA Youth League. It’s in the Premier League where he has shone the brightest however, registering a couple of assists in 16 games.
With all the love for Harry Kane being ‘one of their own’, it’s a sentiment that can also be extended to Lusala himself, who grew up in the local area of Edmonton. According to Talents Hunter, the 17-year-old’s style of play makes him the perfect eventual successor for Walker.
It reveals that Lusala is “equally adept at attacking and defending”, whilst combining his speed and stamina to to provide “overlaps and send crosses into the opposition box”. As Spurs fans will remember, Walker made a living of bombing up and down the right-hand side, and using his blistering speed to great effect – in total, he had 20 assists in his time at the club.
At just 17, Lusala is unlikely to make a rapid rise into the first-team anytime soon. But if he keeps progressing, and Mourinho is willing to throw youngsters into the deep end like he did with Tanganga, then the teenager could well save ENIC millions in the transfer market in the future.