Keanan Bennetts: One to watch
In the next part of my next generation series of articles where I focus on some of our academy’s brightest youngsters, I’ll be taking a look at a player who I’ve watched extensively over the past two seasons, for both the under 18’s and under 23’s. 18 year old winger Keanan Bennetts is an exciting prospect who enjoyed a fruitful 2016/17 campaign, scoring four goals and claiming eight assists for John McDermott’s side in their league campaign. Bennetts was also a vital part of the under 18 side that made it to the semi finals of the FA youth cup. The Edgware born player, who has represented England as high up as under 17 level, had at one stage divided his time playing for both England and Germany’s youth teams whilst below the age of 16, whilst he is also eligible to represent Nigeria through his father. A winger who can operate on both sides of the pitch, Bennetts can also play at wing back as he has already demonstrated so impressively during pre season. Throughout my time watching our under 18’s and 23’s play last season, there were few players more involved and more potent than the young winger. With lightening quick pace and a delicious left footed cross, Bennetts menaced many defences that he came up against, providing a spark with in a side rich with talent. Whilst predominantly featuring on the left wing, Bennetts is equally adept on the right, good with both feet he is an agile and skilful player.
The winger capped off an excellent pre season campaign by playing a vital part of the Spurs development squad which won the Euro under 21 tournament in France, for which Bennetts was named the player of the tournament, for his performances at left back. A raw talent with an unpredictability about his game, he reminds me to an extent of a young Wilfried Zaha. He has that flair about his game, that ability to beat a couple of players with his searing pace and to then cap it off with a top cross/shot on goal. That individual quality of his, was best summed up in the FA Youth cup quarter final last season, when out of seemingly nothing Bennetts cut inside on to his left on the edge of the area, before emphatically firing the ball into the back of the net in what was a quite superb solo goal. Even on his not so good games, he leaves an impression on the game, he’s a trier both on and off the ball. One of his greatest assets is his crossing, he has an excellent whipped cross, which causes such an attacking threat. In addition, he has that rare ability to just power his way past players down both flanks with his blistering pace. You don’t quite know what he will do next, such is the exciting and unpredictable nature of his game. Whilst it’s unknown whether Wayne Burnett will be converting him into a full back (which he looks so comfortable in doing) it boosts his chances of breaking into Pochettino’s senior team in the future.
Pochettino has long craved that pacy winger who can cause a spark to a game when most needed, he is still to find that exact player with in his side. I hope that Bennetts can be that type of player in the team over the coming seasons, yes he is by no means the finished article. He has a lot of developing to do with in his game, with wingers taking longer to learn their trade and mature. But he is an improving and striving player who really pushed on last season for the under 18’s and 23’s, he’s a player who I’m a big fan of. He hasn’t recently received that big hype around him as much as other prospects have, but in this current climate of inflated transfer prices. I feel as if this gem of a player can break through to the seniors over the coming seasons, it’s a big season for Bennetts who’s season kicks off this evening with the under 23’s game against Sunderland up in County Durham, but he is a name for Spurs fans to keep an eye on over the coming season. I for one, certainly wouldn’t rule out the 18 year old making his debut for Spurs in one of the early rounds of the domestic cup competitions. COYS