In recent years Tottenham Hotspur have earned a reputation for their development of youth players. From Dele Alli to Harry Kane, the club is nurturing new talent on an annual basis. The latest player to be touted as the next off the production line is Marcus Edwards. Mauricio Pochettino has even nicknamed the youngster “mini Messi“. Are these expectations healthy for an 18-year-old with one 30-minute League Cup cameo under his belt?
To date, Edwards has signed two professional contracts with Spurs. On both of these occasions he has been locked in a stand-off with the club regarding wages. With tight regulations on professional deals regarding under-18’s meaning he is unable to sign a deal longer than two years, the youngster has essentially held one of the biggest clubs in England to hostage twice in two years despite making only one senior appearance.
The arrogance and shamelessness to do this at such a young age makes one wonder where he is mentally and should he become half the player he is tipped to be it does not bold well for the future.
The curse of social Media
Compilations of Edwards’ performances in youth games have increased pressure on the manager to put him in the first-team. Granted, he preformed well in his run out against Colchester, but is it really rational to want an 18-year-old who has barely had time to show himself to the world to come into one of the best sides in Britain?
It is reasonable to presume that Edwards can see what people are saying about him. The pedestal he has been granted by Tottenham fans without really doing anything is most likely what fueled the two contract stand-offs. In all likelihood, if he breaks into the side it will be near impossible to fulfill the expectations a lot of people have of him already and this can only be viewed as counter-productive for all those concerned.
Edwards has so far been included in the 2015 UEFA European under-17 team of the tournament and was a member of the victorious 2017 England under-19 side which won the UEFA European Championship in Georgia. Everyone who has worked with the youngster thinks highly of him and feels that he has a big future ahead of him.
Edwards is fortunate to have a manager so dedicated to youth development in Pochettino, but he must wait for his chance, as the manager works with him on a regular basis and it’s fair to say that he knows best. Be it mentally or physically, Pochettino clearly doesn’t feel Edwards is ready for Premier League action.As demonstrated with Alli and Kyle Walker-Peters, the Argentine has no issue throwing in players regardless of age if he is confident that they can handle it.
The pressure on Edwards is helping nobody. Dropping Alli to accommodate for the unproven youngster is in nobody’s best interest. The best course of action is to be patient and let Pochettino decide when he is ready for first-team action. Fans should judge him like any other youth player and not on how Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo would preform under the circumstances.
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