Their big-money £60m signing, Richarlison, bagged a headed brace to secure a 2-0 victory in north London but in another universe, that could have been Marcus Edwards doing the business for his boyhood club.
The Enfield-born winger departed Spurs in 2019 and this week, he also delivered in the UCL, providing a goal and an assist in Sporting CP’s win over Frankfurt in the very same group – not bad for your Champions League debut.
5 – Marcus Edwards is the fifth different Englishman to score a Champions League goal for a non-British club since 2018-19 (also Sancho, Bellingham, Tomori, Gomes), which is one more player than between 1992-93 and 2017-18 (McManaman, Beckham, Owen, Woodgate). Exports. pic.twitter.com/M0PIDsc72H
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 7, 2022
“Marcus Edwards is a beautiful young talent, a goal and an assist as Sporting Clube de Portugal lead 3-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt,” journalist Josh Bunting tweeted during the clash.
That took his tally for the season to three goals and three assists from just six outings as the 23-year-old Englishman has hit stride for the Portuguese giants, where he has been since January this year.
Edwards was once touted for big things around Hotspur Way, so perhaps it was a surprise – at the time – that chairman Daniel Levy let the emerging youth product leave for as little as £1m, albeit with a 50% sell-on, which has since been received in the region of £6m.
“The qualities – it’s only looks, his body and the way that he plays – remember a little bit from the beginning of [Lionel] Messi,” former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said of the ex-England U20 international.
Now at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Edwards is thought to have a release clause in the region of £52m and when you factor in that, as well as his recent form, you’d imagine that Levy is kicking feet with regret as he let him go for a mere fraction of that mighty sum.
“He [Edwards] is a very good prospect and potentially he can be a top player, but we need to be patient and tell him that he has a lot of talent, enough talent to be a top player, a great player,” Pochettino added during an interview with Sky Sports.
It really begs the question – should Spurs have held onto him?
The evidence since his departure certainly suggests so, with talent scout Jacek Kulig once deeming the versatile winger to be a “joy to watch” thanks to his form at Vitoria, where he provided 20 goals and 16 assists across 96 appearances.
Also lauded as an “exceptional talent” with “similarities to Jadon Sancho” by the Breaking the Lines podcast and “smart” by his manager Ruben Amorim, it’s clear that Edwards has thrived since his premature exit from N17.
It could have been a very different story for Edwards, had the Spurs hierarchy kept the faith in his evident potential – they may forever regret their decision here.