There were three Spurs Academy players who were called-up (it was announced by Spurs on Saturday) to Spurs’ (first team) two match trip to South Korea, who are going on their first pre-season tour with the club. The three Academy players are Josh Keeley, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Charlie Sayers. Spurs’ first team will play their first match of the trip, against Team K League on Wednesday, before then facing Spanish side Sevilla, next Saturday. Spurs still have two remaining pre-season matches to play after they return to England, but the trip to South Korea will provide all of the Spurs Academy players who are part of Antonio Conte’s squad, an incredible experience of being around a team of great players. The following short piece is an informative piece about the following three Spurs Academy players, and one where I will mostly be talking about the players’ style of play, and what positions they play in. Regardless of how many minutes they get in the two upcoming friendly matches, the experience of travelling with the squad and being with the first team, will be so good for them at this stage of their career.
Josh Keeley: A new signing for the Spurs Academy, from Irish League of Ireland Premier Division side St Patrick’s Athletic. 19 year old goalkeeper Josh Keeley is from Dunboyne, County Meath, in the Republic of Ireland. A goalkeeper with good reflexes, Keeley joined the Spurs Academy earlier this month, and he will likely be the fourth choice goalkeeper for Spurs, during their two matches in South Korea. Josh has been called-up to represent his country in the past at Under 19 level, and he made two senior competitive appearances for his old club St Patrick’s Athletic, during his time there. Keeley started his one competitive match for St Patrick’s Athletic in a 2-2 league draw with Finn Harps in the November of 2021. And the player who also played for the St Patrick’s Athletic Under 19 side, before his involvement with the first team, was coached by former Spurs youth team player and goalkeeping coach at St.Patrick’s Athletic – Pat Jennings Jr. (the son of Spurs legend Pat Jennings). I would imagine that Josh will make a really good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side during the 2022/23 season and possibly also for the Spurs Under 19 side in the UEFA Youth League. However, for now he will be enjoying the experience of being with the Spurs first team.
Malachi Fagan-Walcott: Central defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott ended last season really well with the Spurs Under 23 side. The 20 year old who primarily plays on the right side of central defence, is a very good reader of the game, and he is also very good on the ball. Born in Edmonton, and brought up in Waltham Abbey, Malachi has represented England at youth level in the past, and he has already featured once in a competitive match for the Spurs first team. After he came on as a late substitute in a UEFA Champions League round of 16 match, against RB Leipzig, in 2020. The defender who is good in the air, has shown over the years for Spurs at Academy level that he is a really good passer of the ball, and he likes to make forward passes out from defence. Fagan-Walcott also has really good pace, and while he has missed quite a bit of Academy football in the past because of injuries, he did make 20 competitive appearances for the then Spurs Under 23 side last season, scoring two goals from those matches. He formed a very strong central defensive partnership with former Spurs Academy player Luis Binks, for Spurs at Academy level in the past, and he has already been out on loan from Spurs, during the 2020/21 season. He joined Scottish side Dundee, but an injury ended his time there, having made only two league appearances for them.
I really hope that Malachi gets some game time in South Korea, for Spurs. He is a very talented defender, and I personally wouldn’t be surprised to see him go out on another loan move before the end of the summer transfer window.
Charlie Sayers: A left footed central defender, who is also capable of playing at left-back (he has yet to play in that position for Spurs at Academy level). Former Southend United player Charlie Sayers made some really good strides last season, in my opinion. Prior to signing for Spurs, Sayers had made six competitive first team appearances during the first half of the 2021/22 season for Southend, before joining Spurs in late 2021, after spending some time with the club on trial. A tall defender, he is a player who has shown for Spurs at Academy level since joining, that he can bring the ball out well from defence, and at a good pace. The 18 year old is also a good passer of the ball off of his left foot, and his distribution and composure with the ball reminds me a bit of Luis Binks, while he was at Spurs as an Academy player. Both left footed central defenders, Sayers and Binks are around the same height, and are also similar in how they bring the ball out from defence, and look to pass it forward. Sayers made a good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, as well as making two competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side as a second year scholar. Good in the air and also impressing with his positioning, and at making blocks. Charlie Sayers will be an important player for the Spurs Under 23 side during 2022/23, and he had some really good games last season for Spurs at Academy level.