In Focus: Tottenham boosted in pursuit of Benyu

According to the Daily Mail, Ipswich Town teenager Kundai Benyu has decided to leave his Championship club this summer, which has boosted Tottenham Hotspur’s pursuit of the midfielder.

What’s the story?

Benyu, who broke into Ipswich’s first-team squad at the age of 16, started the season with his parent club, but joined Aldershot Town in December after a falling-out with head coach Mick McCarthy.

The 19-year-old netted five times for Aldershot in their push to the National League playoffs, although the teenager could not prevent Gary Waddock’s side from losing to Tranmere Rovers in the semi-finals.

Benyu will be out of contract at Ipswich this summer, and according to the Daily Mail, Tottenham lead the race for the midfielder’s signature after watching him develop over the last three years.

The teenager’s attitude was questioned at Ipswich towards the start of the 2016-17 campaign, but it is understood that his work with Aldershot has convinced Tottenham scouts that he has the mindset needed to thrive at a Premier League club.

Aston Villa, West Ham United and Celtic are also reportedly considering a move, although Tottenham are said to be in the driving seat after inviting Benyu to be part of their NextGen Series squad in Amsterdam before the start of the season.

What went wrong for Benyu at Ipswich?

The 19-year-old was very much on the fringes of the Ipswich squad at the age of 16, and was twice named on the Championship club’s bench during the 2014-15 campaign, which suggested that he would be eased into the first-team set-up over the next 12 months.

A knee injury curtailed Benyu’s progress, however, and despite signing a new contract in 2015, the midfielder struggled to push on at Portman Road, with his attitude constantly called into question.

Indeed, Ipswich boss McCarthy, upon allowing the teenager to feature for Tottenham’s Under-19 side last summer, claimed that Benyu ‘had ability, but lacked the right approach to football’.

Benyu managed 23 appearances for Aldershot in the second half of this season, however, and while his career at Ipswich might be over, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino could be ready to bring the talented youngster to the Premier League.