My end of season Spurs Academy loanees reviews (2020/21):

With the 2020/21 season now finished thoughts will now turn to the 2021/22 season, with pre-season beginning very soon. However, over the course of the 2020/21 season a really good number of Spurs’ Academy players went out on loans to other clubs. For those players who went out on loan who are still at Spurs, I will be writing a short piece on each player, talking about their time out on loan. Regardless of how many games that they played for their respective loan clubs, every player would have gained invaluable experience by being around a competitive senior football team on a day to day basis. Well done to all of the Spurs Academy loanees of the 2020/21 season.

The players:

Brandon Austin: Goalkeeper Brandon Austin (22) is actually still out on loan with Orlando City SC in the MLS, and he has played the last three competitive matches for the MLS side. Austin joined Orlando on loan back in January, and their MLS season only started in April of this year. Peru international Pedro Gallese is Orlando’s first choice goalkeeper, but he has been away on international duty with Peru in the Copa América. This has allowed Austin to get invaluable game time for Orlando, where he has so far made three appearances for them in the MLS, and in those three games he has impressed me by putting in some really mature performances. After making his debut in a 3-2 win over Toronto FC, Austin followed this up by keeping a clean sheet against San Jose Earthquakes, before then making a crucial early save in a 2-1 away win over Inter Miami CF only last week. As Peru have advanced to the quarter finals of the Copa América, Brandon will most likely play against New York Red Bulls on Sunday. This is a really great loan move for Brandon, and hopefully he will get quite a few more games during further international games for Pedro Gallese. This is actually Austin’s second loan move, after he spent the second half of the 2019/20 season out on loan at Danish side Viborg FF, a loan move where he impressed by putting in some really strong performances. I wish Brandon all the very best of luck for the remainder of his loan at Orlando, and I look forward to seeing the very talented and commanding young goalkeeper back at Spurs in the future.

Joshua Oluwayemi: Last season as a first year professional Joshua Oluwayemi went out on his first ever loan move. Oluwayemi joined National League side Maidenhead United in the autumn of 2020, and while he was at Maidenhead he was the second choice goalkeeper, with Taye Ashby-Hammond the first choice goalkeeper for Maidenhead, when Joshua was there. The penalty saving specialist only made two appearances for the team from County Berkshire, making his debut as a substitute in a league game against Altrincham. The 20 year old made one further appearance for Maidenhead, with that coming in a 3-2 FA Trophy defeat to Weymouth FC. He returned to Spurs not long after that game, and would become the main goalkeeper for the Spurs Under 23 side during the second half of the season.

Jubril Okedina: A player who had a really good first loan at then League Two side Cambridge United, 20 year old defender Jubril Okedina played really, really well whenever I saw him play for the Cambridgeshire based club during the second half of the 2020/21 season (he joined Cambridge United in the January of 2021). The versatile defender made 15 appearances (14 came in League Two) for Mark Bonner’s side, who would end up winning promotion to League One. Okedina particularly impressed me in games against Crawley Town and Carlisle United during his time at Cambridge United, with his fine reading of the game resulting in him looking very comfortable playing senior football in central defence. Although he made his debut playing at right-back, Okedina played the rest of his games at RCB, and he looked really assured in that position, after starting the 2020/21 season really well for the Spurs Under 23 side. Okedina is a player who I’m really hoping will get a chance to play for the Spurs first team in pre-season, and then maybe go out on another loan move. It will be interesting to see whether Jubril returns to Cambridge United on loan, a club that former Spurs player Shilow Tracey has returned to after also spending the second half of last season on loan there.

Cameron Carter-Vickers: Central defender Cameron Carter-Vickers made 26 appearances on loan at AFC Bournemouth last season, scoring one goal and registering one assist. Carter-Vickers (23) rarely missed a game during the second half of the season for the Championship side, and he was defensively solid and impressed many fans, as he helped Bournemouth to reach the Championship Play-Offs. This was Carter-Vickers’ sixth loan move, but it was arguably his best so far. The USA international did well last pre-season for Spurs, and it will certainly be interesting to see whether he goes on another loan move this summer.

Malachi Fagan-Walcott: Unfortunately what looked like a great loan move to Scotland’s second division was ended early on by an injury to centre-half Malachi Fagan-Walcott. The 19 year old had only returned from an injury back in the January of 2021 for the Spurs Under 23 side, before then joining Dundee FC on loan for the rest of that season. Fagan-Walcott made his Dundee FC debut against Raith Rovers in a 3-1 defeat, but he impressed the Dundee fans in that game. However, the England youth international only made one further competitive appearance for Dundee, before suffering a season ending injury. Hopefully Malachi will be back for pre-season of the 2021/22 campaign.

TJ Eyoma: Decisive and composed defender TJ Eyoma made an incredible 52 competitive appearances for League One side Lincoln City last season (scoring one goal). During his second loan at Lincoln City, the 21 year old played both as an RCB and as a right-back. Eyoma was consistent, and he put in some very good performances over the course of the season, even playing in central defence for Lincoln in the League One play-off final at Wembley, which Lincoln unfortunately lost. I watched a good number of Eyoma’s games last season, and considering that this was his first full season of playing competitive senior football, I thought that he did really well. And just the sheer amount of games that he played says a lot for how consistently good he was. There was one league game in particular against Portsmouth at Fratton Park in the January of this year which really stands out. Playing as a right-back in that game TJ went on some excellent forward runs down the right flank, while also staying deep and defending really well when he had to against Portsmouth’s Ronan Curtis. It was a brilliant performance from the former England youth international, and he is another player who I am hoping to see get a good amount of games for the Spurs first team this pre-season.

Oliver Skipp: Defensive midfielder Oliver Skipp (20) made an impressive 47 competitive appearances for the 2020/21 Championship champions Norwich City, last season. Skipp was ever present in the side that comfortably won promotion to the Premier League, and the England Under 21 international who featured at this years Under 21 European Championships, was yet another of the Spurs Academy players who did very well out on loan. The footballer from Welwyn Garden City was a really solid player for Norwich City over the course of the season, and he only missed one league game last season, and that was because of injury. The player who scored one goal and registered two assists with Norwich, will hopefully add to his total of 23 competitive first team appearances for Spurs’ first team next season. He showed out on loan with Norwich that he is more than ready to play competitive senior football at a very high level.

Harvey White: Creative central midfielder Harvey White (19) was yet another player who would have definitely benefitted from spending time out on loan during the second half of last season with Portsmouth. The player from Kent started the 2020/21 season really well with the Spurs Under 23 side, and he scored three goals and registered seven assists during the first half of that season. White also made two competitive appearances for the Spurs first team. The left footed midfielder made 22 appearances for Portsmouth last season, scoring one goal (it was a brilliant headed goal from the edge of the penalty area) and registering one assist. Although he wasn’t always a starter, especially after Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett left his role at the club, Harvey was yet another player who went out on loan and showed a real hunger and desire to impress on the pitch. Particularly impressive in games against the likes of Oxford United and Northampton Town, White showed his fine passing ability and reading of the game, as well as looking to get on the ball and keep things moving in the central areas of the pitch. It will be interesting to see whether Harvey does return to Portsmouth on loan for the 2021/22 season.

Jack Clarke: Although not a Spurs Academy player, former Leeds United player Jack Clarke did make eight competitive appearances for Spurs’ Under 23 side during the first half of last season, scoring two goals and registering one assist. The 20 year old England youth international joined Championship side Stoke City for the second half of the 2020/21 season, making 14 appearances and registering two assists. The York born winger wasn’t always a starter for Stoke, but he was very direct and forward thinking during the games that I watched him play (his performance against Watford stood out). The player who made his first team competitive debut for Spurs last season could well feature again for Spurs in pre-season this year, and it will be interesting to see whether or not he will go out on another loan move this summer.

Troy Parrott: Republic of Ireland international Troy Parrott (19) joined Championship side Millwall (Troy’s first loan) on loan during the summer of 2020. After scoring two goals for Millwall during pre-season things were looking good for the start of the season. However, after picking up an injury Parrott had to wait until September of 2020 to make his competitive debut for Millwall, but early on in that game he picked up another injury which ruled him out until November. He did go on to make 13 further appearances for Millwall, but he ended up leaving them in January to return to Spurs, before then going out on loan to League One side Ipswich Town. At Ipswich Parrott often played almost as a second striker, and I must say that his runs and movement off the ball was just like watching him play at Academy level for Spurs over the years. He did end up scoring two goals for Ipswich during the second half of the season, with the first goal coming in an impressive performance against Plymouth Argyle, while the second goal was against Fleetwood Town on the final day of the season. There must have been times over the course of the season that weren’t easy for Troy, especially when he was injured, but he always gave 100% and was always very unselfish in his play. Troy is yet another player who it will be really interesting to see where he goes next season out on loan, or if he does end up staying around at Spurs. It is worth noting that he did put in an excellent second half performance for the Republic of Ireland in an international friendly against Andorra recently, when Troy scored two goals.

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