Goal-scoring former Spurs midfielder Jack Roles has been one of the most consistent players for Spurs at Under 18 and Under 23 level in recent years, in my opinion. The former Cyprus Under 21 international from Enfield, has left Spurs after his contract came to an end this week, as it was announced by the club on Thursday. Roles had been at Spurs since a young age, and the now 22 year old had been out on two loans during the season just gone, with Burton Albion and Stevenage Borough respectively. Jack has been a real joy to watch, ever since he first stepped up to play for the Spurs Under 18 side as a schoolboy in the 2014/15 season. Roles didn’t play too many competitive games during the 2015/16 season (he made the bench for the old Spurs Under 21 side during that season), as a first year scholar. However, he played a lot more games for the Under 18’s during the following 2016/17 season, and the midfielder impressively scored 15 league goals from midfield, even scoring more goals than Jadon Sancho, and he impressed as Spurs’ Under 18 side reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, during the same season. Although Jack had been excellent for the Under 18’s during the previous season he had to wait until the September of the 2017/18 season to make his competitive Under 18 debut, with that coming from the bench in a Premier League 2 game against Everton, at Goodison Park. Roles had to wait a little while before he got a good run in the team, but when he did he ended up scoring four goals in four games. A skilful player, who can play out wide on either flank, as a CAM, central midfielder or as a centre-forward, Jack Roles is a very skilful player with good balance and ball control. His movement off the ball is some of the best that I have ever seen at Academy level, but most importantly of all he is a clinical goal-scorer, who is capable of scoring a great variety of goals.
A hard worker off the ball, the Cyprus youth international who I’m sure will go on to become an important player for the Cyprus senior team in the future, is capable of the spectacular. Whether that be a stunning long distance goal or the ability to skilfully work his way around a crowd of players before threading through a decisive pass, Roles is a match winner, and he proved this time and time again for Spurs at Under 18 and Under 23 level. The boyhood Spurs fan who played for the first team on occasions during the 2019/20 pre-season, would excel for the Spurs Under 23’s during the 2018/19 season, and he scored many a goal and registered many an assist, as he helped Spurs to avoid relegation to Division Two. The 2019/20 season saw him join then League Two side Cambridge United on a season long loan, and it was a successful one too, with Roles scoring some important and impressive goals (he got five in 25 competitive appearances). However, during the season just gone, Jack unfortunately didn’t get too much game time during his two Football League loans. Another member of the talented 2015/16 Academy intake to leave the club, Roles was a real pleasure to watch play for the Spurs Under 18’s, 19’s and 23’s during his time at the club. A couple of games stand out, such as when he led the line for Spurs’ Under 23’s up in County Lancashire, and registered two clever assists in a 3-1 win, in what was a very good individual performance from him. In addition his hat-trick for the Under 23’s against Derby County at Stevenage Borough’s ground also stands out, as does his goal and assist against Manchester United at Old Trafford for the Spurs Under 23 side in early 2018.
I’m sad to see Jack leave Spurs, especially as he’s a player who I thought was capable of making competitive first team appearances for the club, but I have no doubts whatsoever that the next chapter in his football career will be just the start of great things to come for him in his career. I would like to wish Jack all the very best of luck for the rest of his football career, and I look forward to following his progress in the game.