Spurs youngster Alfie Devine has been tipped to earn more game time in the first-team next season by football.london reporter Alasdair Gold.
The 16-year-old prodigy was named among six other emerging prospects as players who could save Daniel Levy and the club millions in the transfer market, and it’s easy to see why.
Devine is already a record-breaker at the club, which should stand him in good stead.
He first became the youngest-ever player to feature in a competitive game, and then went one better when scoring on that senior debut, coming off the bench to find the net against Marine in the FA Cup.
Gold believes Devine is too young to send out on loan next season, so he’s likely to feature more next term, particularly in cup competitions.
The teenager’s chances of doing exactly that could be bolstered depending on the futures of some first-team players, including Harry Winks, who is thought to be wanting an exit from the club this summer.
According to Sport (via Sport Witness), the out-of-favour Englishman will insist on a summer departure, with La Liga a potential destination.
Whilst Dele Alli is another who could move on, according to the Telegraph. And Moussa Sissoko is getting no younger; he will be 32 at the start of next season.
In Devine, Spurs could unearth their next Michael Carrick, which would be a fine reward for their £300k investment in someone so young.
At his former club, Wigan, he was lauded as a “very talented” player with “huge potential” by academy manager Gregor Rioch and chief executive Jonathan Jackson.
Similarly, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher was gutted to see him leave the League One outfit, dubbing him “top-class” on Twitter.
Devine has even already made his presence felt amongst the first-team, aside from scoring on debut, Japhet Tanganga has praised his impact in training. The fellow Spurs youngster told the Independent:
“He’s trained a few times with us and every time he’s come up he’s looked a real spark,” before adding: “He’s shown he can hustle, he’s shown what he can do, so hopefully from here he can kick on and get more appearances for the club.”
Carrick, albeit a little older at 23, didn’t come through the system at Hotspur Way. Instead, the club splashed out £3.5m to sign him from London rivals West Ham United.
And some similarities can be drawn here.
‘Imposing box-to-box style’ is how the Guardian described the 16-year-old gem in their ‘Next Generation’ list for 2020 and that’s how one could describe the former United midfielder. He was more defensively-minded and ‘imposing’ as his career went on, but could still get up the pitch when need be.
Carrick also played under the Special One at United (43 appearances), so that could help Devine in terms of playing style as he continues to develop at this quick rate.
If – and when – Mourinho unleashes Devine next season, Spurs could well unearth their next Carrick.