Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho isn’t known for handing youth a fair opportunity, having passed on the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah during his spell at Stamford Bridge.
But the Special One may have tweaked his mentality in recent times as we’ve frequently seen some of Spurs’ current U23 squad feature amongst the substitutes bench in both the Premier League and Europa League.
Former Leeds winger Jack Clarke, who has reportedly wowed staff in training, and young left-back Dennis Cirkin, who was kept at the club over the out-on-loan Ryan Sessegnon, are just two names who appear to be very close to making a senior bow in the near future.
And Spurs could be onto a winner with their academy teammate, Harvey White, a player that has built up a reputation as being one of the most versatile players at the club after featuring in no fewer than five different roles – left-back, a centreback, and in the no.6, 8 and 10.
The north London outfit finally signed a midfielder to fill the void left behind by Mousa Sissoko in the summer – that being Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg, and whilst he’s been as integral to their fortunes as Harry Kane and Heung-min Son, it could actually be the 19-year-old defensive midfielder that proves to be the true long-term heir.
We’re not talking anytime soon, but in two, three, maybe four years time. It may be White pulling the strings in the heart of the engine room.
Really good to see Harvey White getting a three year deal. Shows how much the club rate the teenager. Very versatile midfielder, very good tactically and takes a terrific set piece. He's got a bright future ahead of him. https://t.co/rOpiavpQ3q
— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) February 25, 2020
Mourinho told Football.London last season that the youngster would start to be more involved with the senior set-up, he said: “Even in relation to Cirkin and Harvey White, I already told the club that I would like them to be with me next season in the first team squad.”
Whilst The Athletic have claimed that the teenager has often been the “heartbeat” of the U23 side as his “bravery and energy” stands out, which very much puts him in the same bracket of Dembele, who was always Mauricio Pochettino’s industrious talisman.
What makes him carry the potential to be even better long-term is his set-piece ability, 15 goals and 14 assists across Spurs’ youth teams tells the story of him being a solid goal threat too.
Hojbjerg, who is noted as a leader, ought to take him under his wing sooner rather than later.
AND in other news, Spurs must point blame at “absolute freak” as defensive issues continue…