Youth. It’s what last season was all about and it’s something we should continue doing – introducing youth players into the first team. We’ve seen the likes of Harry Kane, Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason make their mark on the big stage when they were given the chance to prove their worth. This evidently illustrates that, if given the opportunity, players from the lower ranks in the club have the potential to make an impact on the big stage.
From struggling to get more than half an hour of football every Saturday under his belt for Millwall in 2012, Harry Kane went on to score more than 30 goals for Spurs last season – including two match winning braces against rivals Chelsea and Arsenal. Who would’ve thought it? From recieving plenty of stick when he was initially introduced to the team, Nabil Bentaleb is now one of the first names on the team sheet and has never looked to be giving any less than his absolute best whenever he’s been selected to play – whether that may be in a cup game away at Turf Moor or in a North London Derby at White Hart Lane against Arsenal. Who would’ve thought it? From struggling with injuries and suffering setbacks, Ryan Mason went on to make his Spurs league debut in a North London Derby and has battled away his injury problems to become a consistent figure in the Spurs team throughout the duration of the season. Who would’ve thought it?
Not me. Most probably not you either.
For many clubs in the modern day, it’s acceptable to throw around £35million and lure in a goalscoring striker from Spain. It is deemed so acceptable that it often surpasses us that there are countless of young players who are not short of talent and it’s depressing to be inclined to believe that most of these young players are probably waiting for a long awaited opportunity in the first team – an opportunity that will never arrive.
The likes of Alex Pritchard, Joshua Onomah, Harry Winks and Dele Alli are all tipped to go on to achieve great things in the future providing that they get a chance on the big stage – something that is very likely for all of them at Spurs under Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino is commonly known for promoting younger players into the first team. As shown from his days at Southampton, he helped the likes of Luke Shaw, Callum Chambers and James Ward-Prowse break into the first team. In similar contrast, Pochettino dropped several underperforming ‘stars’ at Spurs and instead took the gamble of playing the likes of Kane, Bentaleb and Mason – a gamble that turned out to be a lot more successful than Spurs fans initially expected.
A young team consisting of players who have come up the ranks of the club and know the club well and understand the traditions of Tottenham Hotspur is something I would love to see. Obviously that shouldn’t limit us from purchasing players from abroad in order to ensure that we continue to progress as a club, but going on to achieve great accolades with a group of players that understand the club and what it stands for, will make those achievements that much more sweeter.
It’s time we understand the true importance of youth.