Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed notable success over the years with regards to their desire to promote from within, with a number of exciting talents having emerged from the Lilywhites’ youth set-up.
Arguably the most impressive academy graduate that the north Londoners have produced in the modern era is that of current talisman Harry Kane, with the England skipper having enjoyed a remarkable rise over the last decade or so.
There may well have been initial doubts over the Walthamstow-born striker following what was a stop-start to his senior career, with the striker having failed to really catch fire while on loan at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester City, scoring just 16 goals across each of those temporary stints combined.
It was until the 2014/15 campaign that the 6 foot 2 marksman truly emerged as a leading light for the club – after netting three goals in ten top-flight games a year earlier – having scored 21 Premier League goals under Mauricio Pochettino.
No mere one-season wonder, the prolific forward has only gone from strength to strength since then, with his total tally with Spurs now standing at 254 goals in just 395 games in all competitions.
Not just a lethal goalscoring presence, the £81m-rated star has also proven himself an elite creative force in recent seasons, having been dubbed “one of the best passers in world football” by pundit Jamie Carragher.
Such an all-round asset is seemingly a rare commodity, although Antonio Conte and co may well have a potential successor in their midst in the form of young Jamie Donley, with the 17-year-old having sparkled in the club’s youth set-up in recent times.
The Northern Ireland-born centre-forward boasts an impressive record for the Premier League outfit at U18 level having scored 21 goals and laid on six assists in just 33 games, while he only recently netted in the UEFA Youth League triumph over Marseille.
That display saw him receive glowing praise from journalist Josh Bunting, who stated: “Jamie Donley scoring for Tottenham Hotspur Under 19’s in the UEFA Youth League this afternoon. Fantastic young talent, a natural finisher, comfortable driving with the ball. Powerful carrying the ball forward. Has a lot of good attributes, brilliant left footed forward.”
Unsurprisingly, such quality has seen the teenager tipped to be the ‘new Harry Kane’, having also been included in the Guardian’s ‘Next Generation’ list last year, seeing him named among the best prospects at top-flight clubs.
Previous reports have suggested that prior to moving to his current side at the age of eight, the youngster had scored a staggering 175 goals for Colchester Villa Youth, while both England and Northern Ireland are currently vying to secure his services at international level.
The signs all appear to point to a player who could well explode onto the scene in the coming years, with the aforementioned Conte – who has typically shied away from promoting young talent – potentially unable to ignore what could be a star in the making.
If Donley is able to have anything like the success of Kane, then the Tottenham faithful could well be in for a real treat.