(this photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC)
23 year old Cyprus international and south London born Spurs winger Anthony Michael Georgiou has departed the Lilywhites to join Cypriot First Division side AEL Limassol FC (he will wear the number 38 shirt) on a two and a half year contract, (AEL Limassol are currently in second place in their league). Georgiou had been at Spurs since joining from Watford as an under 14 player, after being released by the Hertfordshire club. A versatile player who has represented Cyprus on eight occasions so far, Anthony Georgiou is as you will have known from reading my many academy match reports over the years, one of my favourite ever Spurs academy players. A good technical winger who has a great left foot and who is also skilful, Georgiou also possess a fantastic amount of pace, something which he has demonstrated ever since I first saw him play for Spurs in 2013. Georgiou is the last of the 2013/14 first years intake to leave the club, an age group which included Josh Onomah, Kyle Walker-Peters, Luke Amos, Shayon Harrison and Anton Walkes. The Londoner joins a famous and successful Cypriot side in AEL Limassol, who are currently challenging for their first Cypriot First Division league title since 2012. Anthony joined Spurs full-time for the start of the 2013/14 season and he enjoyed a fine season, scoring eight league goals from 26 appearances for our under 18 side and registering countless assists. Georgiou made a really good impression during his first year as a scholar at the club. In the following 2014/15 season Georgiou improved further as a player and he continue to develop a really good on the field relationship with Shayon Harrison, who he assisted many times at under 18 level throughout the season.
During that 2014/15 campaign Anthony Georgiou was a part of the Spurs side that won the IMG Cup in Florida, America. He also made two appearances for the under 21’s during that season, but his greatest moment came in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup against Manchester United at White Hart Lane, when Georgiou scored two goals as Spurs won 3-1. However, sadly he ended up missing the semi-finals of that seasons competition through injury, as Spurs went out to a very talented Chelsea side. The 2015/16 season was another one of good development for Georgiou as he stepped up permanently to play for the development side, putting in some really strong performances at both left back and as a left winger. However, the 2016/17 season was a very difficult one for Anthony as he missed the vast majority of the season through injury. A player with an outstanding work ethic on the field, Georgiou has always been a player who tracks back tirelessly when playing as a left winger, helps out his teammates and who is incredibly unselfish with the ball at his feet. Some of those qualities would have undoubtedly impressed then Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino enough to include Georgiou in the Spurs first team squad for their pre-season tour of America in 2017. He came off the bench to feature in an International Champions Cup game against Italian side AS Roma in New Jersey. Exciting, positive and direct, Georgiou really impressed during his second half performance, constantly looking to successfully take on AS Roma right back the very fast Bruno Peres, and beat him for pace. Georgiou was always trying to get to the byline and whip crosse into the danger zone during his time on the pitch, it was a very good debut from the then 20 year old.
Anthony did play a further two games for the Spurs first team during that pre-season, before he would go on to make his competitive senior debut for the club against Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia in a UEFA Champion League group stage game. Georgiou came on in the 84th minute of the game to replace Moussa Sissoko in what was a very special night for Anthony and his family, given his Cypriot heritage. That senior competitive debut was richly deserved for Georgiou, and while he wouldn’t play for the first team again that season, he did make the bench for them on two occasions, including in our UEFA Champions League game away to Real Madrid. The left sided winger again played for the first team during the 2018/19 pre-season, but the first half of the competitive season was disrupted by injury, and he didn’t return to action until December. He put in some strong performances for our under 23 side before going out on loan to Spanish side Levante, where he played for their B team in the third tier of Spanish football. Georgiou impressed during his 11 appearances for Levante despite the fact that he was being played out of position on the right flank for some of his games (he scored his first goal in senior football for Levante against Hercules CF, on his 22nd birthday). Anthony returned to Spurs at the end of that season before being included once again by then Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino as part of his pre-season first team squad (Georgiou played at left back in every game that he played a part in, and considering that he is an out and out winger I thought that he did well in those games).
A loan to League One side Ipswich Town was announced in the August of 2019 however, Anthony didn’t really get to show his full potential during that half season loan (again he did look very exciting when he did play), as the vast majority of his 13 appearances for Ipswich came from the subs bench. Returning to Spurs in late December after his loan had ended, Anthony joined League One side Bolton Wanderers on loan until the end of the 2019/20 season late on in the January transfer window. However, he only made two appearances for Bolton when the season was cancelled in March. Bringing us up until the current season, Georgiou had spent virtually all of his time with the Spurs under 23 side who he played for in pre-season, and who he made two appearances for in the Premier League 2 prior to joining AEL Limassol this month. It has certainly been an eventful time at Spurs for the talented winger who despite being released by Watford all those years ago, has shown what a talented player that he is. To play for the Spurs first team is something that every academy players dreams of and want to achieve, and Anthony managed to achieve that, and to have played for them on a good number of occasions is an incredible achievement. His outstanding pace, directness, fine skill and quick feet as well as his top defensive work rate, made him a player that I really really enjoyed watching. So unselfish in his play and a real team player, Georgiou was always consistent, and had things gone a bit differently for him then I really think that he could have played a lot more competitive games for Spurs than he did.
Some games from Georgiou’s time at the club which I remember fondly include his excellent display against Benfica B in the Premier League International Cup in 2018, that excellent performance against Manchester United in the FA Youth cup, and a game against Manchester United’s under 23 side in 2016 when he was unstoppable down the left wing. There are of course many other games that I remember Anthony playing in for Spurs which do standout in my memory. In regards to his permanent transfer to AEL Limassol, I think that this is a really good move for him in the next stage of his development, and it will give him the invaluable opportunity to play a lot of competitive senior football. I do personally believe that at some point in the future Anthony will return to England, and I think that he’ll have a really good career in the game, but for now his focus will be on helping AEL Limassol to win the league. The Cypriot First Division is a good league, and a recent example of a player who has played there and then been transferred to an English club is former Manchester United youngster Nicholas Ioannou (currently on loan at Aris) who joined Nottingham Forest from APOEL Nicosia last summer. I look forward to following Anthony’s career in the game as he continues to develop as a footballer, and I would like to wish him all the very best of luck for the future. He is a great young player and I have no doubts that he will return to England one day and play at a very high level. Farewell and good luck, Anthony!