Harvey White could make his Tottenham Hotspur breakthrough this season, having sat on the periphery of the first-team for a large part of 2022.
The 20-year-old midfield gem is yet to make a senior appearance under manager Antonio Conte, who took the reins back in November, but has been a regular part of his Premier League matchday squads, featuring in 18 of their final 19 matches of the 2021/22 campaign.
Spurs’ young dynamo could be in line for some pitch time during their pre-season training camp in South Korea ahead of the new season, in which the north London outfit will be battling a homegrown quota problem.
It is why reports have linked them with a move for free agent Jesse Lingard, who left Manchester United this summer after two decades at the club. Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence are other English names to have been mooted with a switch to N17.
However, in White, Conte could already have a bargain solution to the problem and one that could save the club’s owners, the ENIC Group, millions of pounds in transfer fees and wages.
The young Hotspur Way talent was a regular for the U23s in the Premier League 2 last term and was quickly drafted in for three of their Europa Conference League matches.
Conte’s engine room is a pretty stacked armoury right now but White offers that homegrown status that perhaps someone like Pape Matar Sarr doesn’t.
He was held back from going out on loan again after a successful stint at Portsmouth following Oliver Skipp’s season-ending injury last term, so it’s clear that the current managerial staff rate him highly – enough for him to replace the presence of his fellow countryman in the squad.
According to his former boss at Pompey, Danny Cowley, White is a “dream” to work with.
“Harvey is going to be a good player and got real maturity beyond his years. He’s a really intelligent footballer. He watches loads of football, understands it and gets it,” he claimed (via The News).
“You only have to tell him an instruction once. He’s like a sponge and you’ll tell him something once and then he’ll be doing it. He’s so easy to coach, a coach’s dream.
“He’s got a great attitude, good pitch coverage now we’re trying to get him used to the combative nature of the transitional game in League One he’s probably not used to in development football.”
His stint in League One saw him average 3.4 successful tackles from 5.1 total attempts, as well as 0.7 interceptions and 1.3 blocks every 90 minutes, via WhoScored, which is pretty good going for his first full taste of the men’s game.
So, on the above evidence, Conte would be wise to turn to the 20-year-old prodigy in a bid to solve Spurs’ problems with their homegrown quota. White is clearly trusted, so now it’s time to rely on him, especially with so many games on the horizon.