Barnet born footballer Dilan Markanday has started the new 2021/22 season excellently well for Spurs. The 20 year old winger, who is capable of playing on either flank, as a CAM, centre-forward or even as a full-back, is a player who has terrific skill, is a hard worker and who is also a real team player. Markanday signed scholarship forms with Spurs back in the summer of 2017, and since then he has played regularly for the Spurs Under 18 side, Under 19’s in Europe and now the Under 23’s for the past couple of seasons. The player who actually made his competitive debut for the Under 23 side back in the final league game of the 2017/18 season, has gone onto become a key player for Wayne Burnett’s side in the seasons since then. Markanday was superb during this pre-season, for Spurs’ Development side – scoring five goals and registering three assists from five appearances. He has carried that excellent form into the new season, scoring ten goals and registering five assists, from 13 competitive appearances, so far. Nominated for two PL2 Player of the Month awards (he was always nominated towards the end of last season) already this season, Markanday’s form has been nothing short of sensational.
Playing in a variety of positions already this season, Dilan has shown how clinical he is in-front of goal, especially when playing as a centre-forward. When playing in that position this season he has looked very, very good. With his fine movement off the ball and ability to strike a ball sweetly, and also show fine composure in-front of goal, he has looked so clinical in-front of goal. He scored an excellent hat-trick against Leeds United for the Spurs Under 23 side earlier this season when playing as a centre-forward, in what was an outstanding individual performance. Other notable performances at centre-forward include the opening league game against Chelsea, when Dilan scored a goal, and also the 3-1 away win over Manchester City, when he scored two goals. Dilan has also been very effective and productive when playing out wide on the flanks. Particularly effective when he has played out on the right flank and when he is able to cut inside onto his favoured and strong left foot, Dilan has got noticeably stronger since the end of last season. Like former Spurs Academy player Samuel Shashoua in some ways, who also got a lot stronger as an Under 23 player, despite Dilan’s size he has in my opinion shown that he is ready and more than capable of being able to play senior football on a regular basis.
As a winger Dilan is a player who has tremendous balance, is very difficult to win the ball off, is good with both feet, and who also is very, very skilful. Capable of going past defenders like they aren’t even there, Dilan has shown great confidence with the ball this season, and his statistics speak volumes. Since I started watching the Spurs Academy sides, Dilan is one of the very best players that I have seen at being able to ride challenges. He has also shown this season and in previous season that from a defensive point of view, that he can be effective. Good at making standing challenges and at tracking back, he is enthusiastic and has a great work rate, in my opinion. So far this season Dilan has excelled at Under 23 level for Wayne Burnett’s side, putting in terrific performances against the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Leeds United and Crystal Palace. The sheer consistency of his performances this season has deservedly meant that he has made the bench for the first team on four occasions, being introduced on one occasion, when he made his competitive debut for Spurs’ first team in a UEFA Europa Conference League group game against Vitesse Arnhem. A real goalscoring and creative force in the Under 23 side this season, after a strong 2020/21 season, the future for Dilan in the game is looking very promising.
Whether he goes out on loan in January (I personally think that he could play as high up in England as the Championship, on a loan) or stays with Spurs until the end of the season, and plays Under 23 football, as well as hopefully getting more first team opportunities, I just think that as long as he gets consistent game time for the remainder of this season, then that is a real plus. Dilan has been an absolute pleasure to watch play so far this season, and I would like to wish Spurs’ number 54 all the very best of luck for the remainder of this season. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the player who is eligible to represent England and India be called up to the England Under 20 side before the end of the season.