In recent seasons, Spurs have managed to find one or two players from their academy who have shown sufficient promise to warrant a start or starts in the first team.
The successes of our youth policy so far have been the new England captain Harry Kane and a player with great, if yet unfulfilled promise in Harry Winks. Winks needs to come back strongly from his recent injury and show the form he displayed when Pochettino gave him his chance.
Faith is Diminishing in the Spurs Academy
The jury is very much out on players like Josh Onomah, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Marcus Edwards. Edwards has been out on loan to Norwich City but this loan period was curtailed, officially for personal reasons but rumours abound that attitude problems were the real reason. The reports on Carter-Vickers and Onomah have been encouraging. Though, not quite enough to have Spurs fans leaping out of their seats with anticipation.
So at a time when Spurs may well need to replace players like Toby Alderweireld, Moussa Dembele and perhaps Danny Rose (though my Facebook news and Twitter feeds tell me he’s staying), where will these replacements come from?
In today’s game, cash, or more specifically transfer cash, is king. Manchester City spent a mind-boggling £223,650,000 on players during the last summer transfer window. At the time the BBC quoted Daniel Levy as saying that this level of spending was ‘unsustainable’.
Well, maybe it is. But after the disappointment of missing out yet again on a trophy, there are rumblings of discontent amongst the fans. The pressure from fans and the media to spend big is a pressure that Levy could do without, with all that’s going on with the new stadium (Will it be open on time? Will we be making the trek to hell, or Wembley as it’s more commonly known, again?) Perhaps unwittingly, Pochettino has added to this by saying that a ‘new project’ is required to take Tottenham to that trophy-winning level. It was widely reported in the media that it was time to loosen the purse strings.
So what is it to be? Does Levy continue to pursue the policy of looking for bargains like Dele Alli to supplement any young talent from the academy, therefore, risking another trophyless season while Poch tries in vain to integrate them into the squad? Or does he go all out to invest in the best there is in pursuit of that elusive trophy, and in so doing placate the fans and the manager?
There is some very promising talent in the academy ranks. Reo Griffiths has been scoring regularly in the youth set-up and looks to have plenty of pace to burn. He might be just what’s required to provide that bit of creativity up front for the benefit of the team; for Harry Kane in particular.
Tashan Oakley-Boothe is a midfielder who is spoken of in glowing terms. He was also part of the successful England under-17 squad. A possible replacement for Mousa Dembele perhaps? Pochettino also signed Juan Foyth who has looked very good in the odd FA Cup game that he’s played. Kyle Walker-Peters has been excellent on most of the few occasions he’s played. Poch, please have a word with Marcus Edwards – if anyone can save him, you can. Remember when Alan Hansen said “you’ll win nothing playing with kids”? Well, Alex Ferguson and history made him look foolish. Look at what Manchester United did with Giggs, Beckham, Scholes etc. Why can’t Spurs achieve that? If our kids never get a chance, how will we know?
I know that we’re so close to being the very best. Perhaps all it will take is someone to come along with the extra investment that we need. If Uncle Joe and ENIC can’t do it, perhaps someone else can invest in partnership with them, or dare I say it, instead of them. But let’s not just discard the kids.