In a recent article for football.london, the Spurs correspondent revealed that Antonio Conte has called 18-year-old Charlie Sayers up to first-team training ahead of the North London Derby this evening, with the versatile centre-back – who can also play at left-back – being said to have caught the eye for both Tottenham’s U18 and U23 sides following his move to north London back in December.
Gold went on to state that, with Conte recently revealing that he only has 15 senior players to pick from at present, as well as the likes of Dane Scarlett, Harvey White, Marcel Lavinier and Matthew Craig having all made the Italian’s matchday squads in recent weeks, Sayers will be confident that he too could make the step up to first-team football under the 52-year-old in the not too distant future.
Considering the fact that Sayers only joined Spurs from Southend United a little over five months ago, the news that the defender has already earned himself a place in Conte’s first-team training sessions is sure to have surprised a number of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium faithful.
However, when taking into account the fact that the youngster made six appearances for Southend as a 17-year-old this season, it is clear to see that the centre-back is a talent well beyond his years – something that former Shrimpers manager, Phil Brown, is clearly in agreement with, as the 62-year-old stated of Sayers earlier this season:
“I think Charlie Sayers has been outstanding and you have to say he has a career ahead of him, there’s no doubt about it. Charlie has set a great example of what this club has been about for the last 10 years and that’s decent young players.”
Furthermore, speaking shortly after the defender’s switch from Roots Hall, the current Southend head coach, Kevin Maher, also heaped a considerable amount of praise on the teenager, stating:
“For a young lad to get the opportunity to go to Tottenham, you can’t stand in his way. He broke into the team this season and to play at 17 in a really tough league shows a lot of character. He’s got a mature head on him for his young age and, hopefully, he can take that forward.
“Tottenham is a brilliant football club and they’ve got some really good people there that I know well. He’ll be looked after and coached very well and it’s up to him now to take the opportunity. He’s a great lad and we wish him all the very best and hope to see him go on and have a great career.”
However, while Sayers’ incredibly rapid rise to the Tottenham first-team is certainly an unexpected outcome, when taking into account Spurs’ current lack of depth at left wing-back – with Sergio Reguilon looking as if he will be ruled out for the remainder of the current campaign due to injury – perhaps the 18-year-old could even feature in Conte’s 20-man squad to face Arsenal this evening – acting as backup to Ryan Sessegnon.
Either way, the future certainly seems bright for the Spurs starlet, with supporters undoubtedly hoping to see the defender kick on and become a senior squad regular over the coming months.