(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC).
Tottenham Hotspur development side player Armando Shashoua yesterday departed the club to join Spanish third tier side Atlético Baleares in a permanent deal. The 19 year old attacking midfielder who had been at Spurs along with his older brother Samuel (now of C.D. Tenerife) since a young age, was a player that I’d always rated very highly. A highly technical player who is adept at playing in central midfield or higher up as a CAM, a position which he played in for the majority of last season, Shashoua chipped in with five goals and three assists for our development side last season from 14 appearances. West London born but eligible to represent Spain, Venezuela, Egypt and America at international level, Shashoua made his debut for Spurs’ under 18 side as a schoolboy way back in February of 2017. During the following 2017/18 campaign he was mostly a mainstay in Scott Parker’s under 18 side, putting in many impressive performances in central midfield and in the number ten position. However, it was during the 2018/19 season when Armando really flourished, this time as captain of our extremely talented under 18 side. Putting in consistently excellent performances week in week out, Shashoua captained the side with aplomb, constantly motivating and encouraging his teammates during matches. The 19 year olds tremendous work ethic and tireless work off the ball instilled a real belief in the side that we could go on and win the U18 Premier League South. Unfortunately we didn’t win the league or any of the other domestic cups that were on offer that season however, the team more than did the club proud. After contributing double figures for assists and scoring a good number of important goals during the 2018/19 season Armando also stepped up to play for our under 19’s and 23’s on a handful of occasions.
Continuing to develop and very rarely getting injured despite his tigerish style of play, the Londoner started pre-season of the 2019/20 campaign by putting in some impressive performances in domestic fixtures, as well as impressing at the Tournoi Europeen out in France. However, it was during Shashoua’s first proper season of playing development side/under 23 football that he really took to that level of youth football like a duck to water. The talented teenager who is a nice lad off the pitch was directly involved in eight goals from 14 competitive appearances for Wayne Burnett’s side, and he wasn’t at all fazed by the step up in physicality of the league despite his small frame and size. The gifted attack minded midfielder single-handedly won our under 23’s games against the likes of Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers, and once again his leadership skills, intelligence and footballing maturity really stood out on the pitch. The former Harrow School pupil was probably our best attacking player for our under 23’s last season, and without him we would have found it difficult to avoid relegation to the PL2’s Second Division. A player who I was going to include in an article that I’m currently writing about five young Spurs academy players that I’m hoping to see in action for the first team this pre-season, Armando along with his older brother Samuel were two players that I really thought would make at least one competitive first team appearance for Spurs. However, as we all know nothing is certain in football, but Armando’s service to Spurs at youth level over the years has been tremendous. A similar type of player to Brighton and Hove Albion’s attack minded midfielder Steven Alzate, Shashoua has lovely balance and a great low centre of gravity.
A graceful player who is capable of gliding past opponents, Armando is a forward passer of the ball who has a lovely weight of pass. Also an unselfish and highly energetic player, the footballer who spent half of last season on loan at Atlético Baleares (he made four competitive appearances in total) can dribble with the ball well and he possesses a fair amount of pace however, it is his impeccable positional play which makes him such a potent goal threat. I’ve got a lot of good memories of watching Armando play for the under 18’s, 19’s and development side over the years, and to be quite honest I am sad to see him leave. For me I did see him going onto play for our first team however, difficult that can be to achieve. Although for me the teenager is a proper Tottenham player who has the class to prove it but also that top quality work ethic too. Shashoua joins an Atlético Baleares side who have won their league the last two seasons but have subsequently failed to gain promotion to the second tier of Spanish football (they have to go through a play off system after winning the league). Given time I think that Armando will settle really well to life in Mallorca and although it is a very physical league (he is deceptively strong) Armando’s skillset and technical ability will cause real problems for his opponents. Like Samuel I am sure that Armando will go onto have a long and successful career in the game, and I believe that he is more than capable of playing in one of the worlds best leagues at some point in the future. Atlético Baleares must be one of the favourites to be promoted to the second tier next season and that would be so good for Armando’s development in the game. This is the end of an era for the Shashoua brothers at Spurs however, it is only the very start of their careers in the game. Farewell and good luck young Armando Shashoua.