Having been at Spurs for many years (Kazaiah was previously at Leyton Orient) centre-forward Kazaiah Sterling left the club last Thursday, after it was announced by Spurs. Sterling (22) came up through the Academy ranks at Spurs to make two competitive first team appearances for the club, but to those Spurs fans who watch Academy games, they would have first been aware of Kazaiah during the 2014/15 season. During that season the player from north London made a number of competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side as a schoolboy, and he even scored a fine goal against Chelsea in the semi-finals of that seasons FA Youth Cup, at White Hart Lane. Sterling did well for the Under 18 side during the following 2015/16 season, and he would step up to play for the then Spurs Under 21 side on three occasions in competitive competition, scoring once. The former England youth international missed quite a bit of the start of the following 2016/17 season through injury, but his goals in the FA Youth Cup were one of the main reasons why we reached the semi-finals of the competition that season. Also capable of playing out wide or as a second striker, Kazaiah Sterling scored two goals from three appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side that season, a season which he finished strongly. The 2017/18 season saw Kazaiah promoted to the Under 23 side, although he also played for Spurs’ Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League.
A very technical forward, who is a very clinical centre-forward and particularly good in situations when he only has the goalkeeper to beat (one on ones), Sterling made his competitive first team debut for Spurs during the 2017/18 season. After he came off the bench against Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia in the UEFA Champions League, at Wembley Stadium. Sterling also scored an impressive amount of goals at Academy level for Spurs during that same season. Although he was a part of Spurs’ (the first team) pre-season for the start of the 2018/19 season, Kazaiah picked up an injury that summer which would rule him out until the October of 2018. He returned to Spurs’ Under 23 side and he would score four league goals from seven Premier League 2 appearances, before joining Sunderland on loan for the second part of the season. After impressing in France for Spurs’ development side in pre-season in the summer of 2019 where Kazaiah put in some really good performances, he joined Doncaster Rovers not long after scoring two goals for Spurs’ Under 23 side, in their Premier League 2 opener. However, he picked up an injury not long after he joined Doncaster, which would sadly rule him out for the rest of the 2019/20 season. Kazaiah did return for pre-season of the season just gone, and after playing a good number of games for Spurs’ Under 23 side he joined League 2 club Southend United on loan.
During his time in Essex Kazaiah scored one goal from 12 appearances for Southend, before returning to Spurs and joining Scottish Championship side Greenock Morton for the second part of the season, where in total he made nine appearances, before again returning to Spurs. I always enjoyed watching Kazaiah play for Spurs and I’ve always thought that he is a quality player, but has just been unlucky with injuries. I used to like to watch him in the warmup to games, as during the warmups he would rarely not find the back of the net when the players used to try and beat the goalkeeper from the edge of the six yard box. A skilful player who was more than capable of playing development side football as a first year scholar, Kazaiah is very good at scoring goals from inside the oppositions box. And his goalscoring record at Academy level for Spurs has always been impressive, as has all the different kinds of goals that he has scored at that level. A player who shows great composure in front of goal and who also likes to place his efforts on goal rather than go for power. Some games which really stand out from watching Kazaiah over the years include the time when he scored two goals in the FA Youth Cup against Norwich City in 2017. And also an excellent individual performance for Spurs’ Under 23 side in the Premier League 2 against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2018.
I truly believe that the hardworking centre-forward has a very good future in the game, and I very much look forward to following his progress. Farewell and good luck, Kazaiah.