A season of fine progress – A piece on Spurs Under 23’s mainstay Alfie Devine, and his season so far:

Second year scholar Alfie Devine has been in excellent form for Spurs’ Under 23 side this season. The former Wigan Athletic player, who joined Spurs from Wigan in the summer of 2020, has scored nine goals and provided four assists for Wayne Burnett’s side, so far this season (he has also scored an additional two goals for the Spurs Under 18 side this season). The footballer from Warrington has undoubtedly been one of the most important players for the Spurs Development side this season, regardless of his impressive stats in regards to goals and assists. Devine, who was recently nominated for the Premier League 2 player of the month award for March, has shown real leadership and maturity for a second year scholar this season. He has mainly played for the Spurs Under 23 side throughout the season so far, apart from the odd game for the Spurs Under 18 side, mainly in the FA Youth Cup. Devine has been a regular starter for the Spurs Under 23 side, apart from missing some games in the autumn of 2021, because of injury.

After regularly starting games for the Spurs Under 18 side during the 2020/21 season, and becoming an important player for them as a first year scholar, Devine also played for the Spurs Under 23 side, particularly during the second half of the 2020/21 season. However, this season and after spending much of pre-season with the Spurs Development side, Devine has gone on to become a really important player for Wayne Burnett’s side. Often starting matches in the CAM role for the Spurs Under 23 side this season, Alfie has also done well whenever he has started matches out-wide, or in central-midfield. Starting the season really well, and putting in impressive performances against the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Derby County. Devine was in really good form before getting injured in the October of 2021. He returned as a second half substitute in a Premier League 2 home game against Manchester City in the December of 2021, and after that match he soon started scoring goals and providing assists again.

Very impressive performances against Crystal Palace and Arsenal followed, and the very consistent midfield player who has made the bench for the Spurs first team on two occasions this season, has also impressed when representing his country, England. A regular for the England Under 19 side, Devine recently scored a goal in a Euro Under 19’s 2022 qualifier against Armenia, during the recent international break. The Spurs player who only last season scored in his one and only appearance so far for the Spurs first team (in an FA Cup match against Marine), will be hoping to be included in the England Under 19 squad which will compete in this June’s UEFA European Under 19 Championships, in Slovakia. However, going back to Spurs, the 17 year old midfielder has shown throughout this season so far his ability to make the difference in matches when given the ball. He is a brave player, but one whose determination and impressive skill level has made him in my opinion one of the most impressive players in the Premier League 2 this season for Spurs, along with former Spurs player Dilan Markanday.

I have noticed this season when starting matches as a CAM or out on the wing, that Devine is always looking to make runs in behind the defence, at every opportunity. A very skilful player with good reactions, Devine is a midfield player who after receiving the ball will look to bring it forward at pace, taking players on by going on a surging forward run. With his good pace and physicality on the ball he is difficult to get the ball off, but he is someone whose fine movement off the ball always allows him to create that extra bit of space to receive it in a good area of the pitch. He is unpredictable and capable of creating wow moments in matches, but his tremendous work off the ball (he often likes to drop deep to receive the ball) certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. Devine is good in the air, and really likes to make a surging run from the centre of the penalty area to the near post at corner-kicks, providing the Spurs Under 23 side with a real outlet from corners. His weight of pass is good, as is his link-up play, and in one versus one situations in matches, he is often successful.

A player with many great attributes, it is possibly his ability to score goals and also play anywhere in forward areas, that makes him such an important player with real potential. He has shown time and time again this season, his clinical ability in front of of goal, and he has scored a real variety of goals so far this season. Devine has done so well this season for the Spurs Under 23 side, and his consistently impressive performances are from that from a player who has real potential for the future. I’m already looking forward to seeing what next season (2022/23) holds for Devine, who has adapted really well since joining Spurs, and it would be great if he got a good run of games for the Spurs first team in pre-season. 

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