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Spurs could find a new Marcus Edwards in Bryan Gil

Tottenham’s match with Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League a few weeks ago was significant for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, it saw former Spurs academy darling, Marcus Edwards, return to the club he grew up at.

It was an emotional return for the Sporting winger who, typically, found the back of the net to haunt his ex-employers.

Much of the talk in the build-up to the clash had been surrounding the 23-year-old, who ended up beating the goalkeeper with a delightful goal from range.

After making just one appearance for the first team, a 2016/17 League Cup tie, he decided a move to Portugal would be best for his development. A spell with Vitoria Guimaraes was his first port of call where he scored 20 and assisted 14 in 96 outings.

One of those goals came in 2019 against Arsenal in Europe, a strike that demonstrated his immense talent.

Since leaving for the Portuguese capital, his record is now even better, bagging ten and assisting nine in 34 appearances.

In short, Edwards has proven Spurs wrong, irrespective of the talent they’ve brought through in the subsequent years after his exit.

One talent hoping to get a great deal more time to prove himself in north London is Bryan Gil, although that is currently looking slim.

The Spaniard appeared off the bench in that game with Marseille, managing 19 minutes in the second half, the most amount of minutes he’s been afforded in a single game this term.

Marcus Edwards celebrates scoring against Tottenham.

Conte doesn’t seem to like him and at this rate, he could become the “new Marcus Edwards” in the words of the Daily Mail’s Paul Newman.

There may have been an element of sarcasm in that comparison but it stands true. Like the English attacker, Gil isn’t being afforded many opportunities despite his immense skill set.

They are like-minded players too, with both ranking highly across a number of important offensive metrics per 90 minutes. Indeed, Spurs’ 21-year-old starlet registers 3.81 touches in the opposition’s penalty area, completes 1.96 dribbles, receives 5.94 progressive passes and manages 3.81 shot-creating actions.

Edwards, by comparison, completes 2.59 dribbles, makes 3.81 touches in the opposing area, receives 5.99 progressive passes and delivers 3.81 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes.

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It paints the picture that both are extremely creative players, possessing the tools to fly past their man with trickery and panache.

Compared to a certain Lionel Messi, it would appear that Gil has the world at his feet, but like those who have come before him – specifically the Sporting ace – the £40k-per-week earner is in danger of not fulfilling his potential in the English capital.

That said, now could be the perfect time for Gil to earn his chance. Heung-min Son is out injured with a fractured eye socket, while Richarlison is also on the sidelines. Even Dejan Kulusevski is only just working his way back to full fitness.

The disappointing thing is, however, that even with all of those injury issues against Liverpool, the Spanish youngster still didn’t get his chance. It feels like a wasted opportunity for Conte.