It’s not often that a teenager has made more senior appearances for his national team than his domestic outfit, but that’s the case of Estonia colossus Maksim Paskotsi at Tottenham Hotspur.
During the international break, the 18-year-old, who turns 19 in January, picked up his tenth and 11th caps for the Blueshirts as they were beaten by world no.1 Belgium and the Czech Republic.
In those matches, he played against some pretty star-studded names, ranging from Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne to other Premier League players like Christian Benteke and Vladimir Coufal.
Paskotsi even displayed impressive versatility in playing as a central defender in a back-three and as a right wing-back – that’s got to please his new Tottenham manager Antonio Conte, who deploys a very similar system.
Only a handful of teenagers in Europe have made more appearances for their country than the Spurs academy prodigy, which is a telling sign that the north Londoners could have a future star on their hands.
Given the recent injury blow to Cristian Romero and doubts over their current backups, including academy graduate Japhet Tanganga, the teenager could save the club millions in upcoming transfer windows as a potential solution to their mini-crisis.
Paskotski is said to be “one of the most talented players in Estonia“, which perhaps isn’t an impossible task given the pedigree that the nation carries. However, according to talent scout Jacek Kulig, he is comparable to Manchester United beast Raphael Varane in playing style.
His tacking and intercepting, pace, anticipation and aerial ability are all thought to be key strengths, which will only bolster his claims in becoming a first-team regular in years to come, by which stage he will eventually be considered a home-grown talent, too.
The Estonian has also proven to be a goal threat, having bagged five times in 20 appearances for the U18s.
Paskotski could save the club, particularly owners ENIC, plenty of money in the future should Conte decide to utilise him in the coming weeks and months. If he’s lining up against some of the best on the international stage, then it can’t hurt to try him out in the cup competitions, at the very least.
AND in other news, Spurs reportedly make “the biggest offer” to sign £31.5m-rated “animal”…