A piece on Spurs Under 23’s talented goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi and his Spurs journey so far:

Joshua Oluwayemi (known by his teammates as Josh) is now in his third year as a professional with Spurs. The goalkeeper who was born in Waltham Forest, and brought up in Harold Hill, joined the Spurs Academy full-time in the summer of 2017/18, and during the previous season he made the bench for Spurs’ Under 18 side in a Premier League South game, on one occasion. Joshua’s younger brother Tobi (ex-Spurs Academy player) is also a goalkeeper, and he is currently with Scottish side Celtic. However, Joshua made his competitive Spurs Under 18’s debut as a second half substitute in an Under 18 Premier League South game away to Leicester City in the early stages of the 2017/18 season, and he would make a stunning late save in that game. Often the second/third choice goalkeeper for the Spurs Under 18 side during the 2017/18 season (Jonathan De Bie was the first choice goalkeeper), Oluwayemi made an additional competitive appearance for then head-coach Scott Parker’s side in the league, in an away match to Aston Villa, which Spurs won 5-0, with Joshua making some impressive saves in that game. 

During the 2018/19 season, this was to be the season that Oluwayemi made the number one goalkeeping spot his own in the Spurs Under 18 side. The former England youth international was a key member of the Spurs Under 18 side that came so close to winning the Premier League South during that season. Making some incredible and very important saves, I’ll always remember Oluwayemi making an outstanding save to stop what looked like a certain goal that seemed destined to go into the top left hand corner of the goal, in a north London derby with Arsenal.  During that season the penalty kick saving specialist saved an impressive five penalties for the Spurs Under 18 side. The 2018/19 season was definitely a season of very good progress for Joshua at that stage of his career, and he was absolutely brilliant during that season. Vocal and encouraging to his teammates in matches during the 2018/19 season, Joshua would spend the start of the next pre-season (2019/20) with the Spurs Development side. After making some appearances in pre-season friendlies, Oluwayemi impressed greatly for the Spurs Development side in the Tournoi Européen in France.

At the Tournoi Européen Joshua was outstanding in all of the games that he started in, and I actually thought that he was Spurs’ best player in that tournament, that pre-season against some very good sides. Having to wait until the November of 2019 to make his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 23 side. The then first year professional would make an additional four appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side before the end of that season, as well as featuring for the Spurs Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League. Later making 12 Premier League 2 appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side during the following 2020/21 season, Oluwayemi would go out on his first loan move during the first half of that season (to National League side Maidenhead United), where he would make two competitive appearances. After returning to Spurs and starting a good number of games for their Under 23 side, Oluwayemi has gone onto become a regular starter for Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side during the following 2021/22 season. He has so far made 18 appearances in all competitions for the Spurs Under 23 side this season, and he is doing well for them.

The goalkeeper who was called-up to the senior Nigeria national team for a friendly with Mexico last year and who turned 21 last month, is a goalkeeper who has tremendous reflexes and is capable of making some spectacular saves, as he has shown for Spurs over the years at Academy level. However, although he isn’t very tall for a goalkeeper, Oluwayemi has a really good jumping reach, and he commands his penalty area with a real assuredness. He is good at dealing with crosses and set-pieces, but is also calm and composed with the ball at his feet, such is his fine distribution. Always vocal and encouraging to his teammates on the pitch, Joshua’s positioning inside his penalty area is some of the best that I’ve seen from a Spurs Academy goalkeeper over the years. He also rarely makes mistakes, and is a reliable all-round goalkeeper, who is quick out of his box and very brave in his goalkeeping. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Joshua at Spurs, but he is someone who should be very proud of all that he has achieved so far in his time at the club. Goalkeeping places in the various Academy sides in Academy football is very strong, and so to go on and become a regular starter for both the Spurs Under 18 and 23’s side is very impressive.

I would like to wish Joshua all the very best for the remainder of this season with the Spurs Under 23 side. The next Spurs Under 23’s game is a Premier League 2 fixture with Derby County, on the 25th of this month.

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