It was announced by Spurs on Friday, who the new Academy first year scholars will be at the club, for the 2022/23 season. Six of Spurs’ new first year scholars have already played for the Spurs Under 18 side, while an additional three players featured on the bench for the Spurs Under 18 side last season. I saw six of the 14 Spurs Academy first year scholars play for Spurs’ Under 18 side last season. And although I didn’t see some of the new first year scholars last season, I will write a brief bit on each player, while writing more extensively on the players who I did see play for the Spurs Under 18 side last season. The goalkeepers in this seasons’ new group of Spurs Under 18 players, are Elliot Krasniqi and Carey Bloedorn. Elliot Krasniqi made the bench for the Spurs Under 18 side on 12 occasions last season, without featuring for the side, while Carey Bloedorn made the bench for the Spurs Under 18 side on one occasion last season.
There will be six new defenders joining the Spurs Under 18 side next season, as first year scholars. Pele Arganese-McDermott, I believe had previously represented Luton Town, before joining Spurs, and he is a central defender. New first year scholar Archie Chaplin, is also a central defender. He made 12 Premier League South appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, before joining the club full-time this summer. I was very impressed with how Archie Chaplin did for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, and he stepped up to that level really well. I thought that he was on occasions the best player in matches last season, such was his excellent reading of the game, positioning and the quality and decisiveness of his challenges. Chaplin is a defender who also has really good pace, and I personally wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him feature for England at youth level next season. Other defenders in the group, are Maeson King, Zach Simons and James Roswell. James Roswell has represented England at youth level in the past, and he made the bench for the Spurs Under 18 side in their home Premier League South fixture with Aston Villa, in the March of 2022.
In midfield, there are four players who are joining the Spurs Academy full-time. Leo Black is a midfield player who made three competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season (all as a substitute). I believe that the first year scholar can play in the CAM position, as well as in central midfield. In the games that he was involved in for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, he showed some fine skill on the ball. Tyrese Hall is a versatile goalscoring midfield player, who can also play as a winger. Hall can also play as a defensive-midfielder and as a CAM, and he was another first year scholar who I thought did well for the Spurs Under 18 side last season. Tyrese looks like a very skilful player, and I also noticed that he seems to be good with both feet. He made five competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, including one in the FA Youth Cup, and he provided one assist from those matches. He was excellent in a 2-1 Premier League South win away to Reading last season, while playing in central midfield. His skilful surging forward runs with the ball, as well as his good decision making on the ball impressed me a lot in that game against Reading. Hall scored a goal in Spurs’ Under 18’s 4-0 pre-season friendly win over Leyton Orient, earlier this month.
Kieran Morgan and Han Willhoft-King are also midfielders who are part of the new group of Spurs Under 18’s. I haven’t seen Kieran Morgan play for Spurs, yet, but I have seen quite a lot of Han Willhoft-King for the Spurs Under 18 side. The England youth international started all three of Spurs’ FA Youth Cup games last season, and he also started for a Spurs Under 17 side in the 2022 Premier League Under 17 Cup final, against Manchester City, last season. Willhoft-King made 13 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in all competitions, last season. Often starting matches in the defensive-midfield role, Han reminds me a bit of two Spurs Academy graduates, in Oliver Skipp and Armando Shashoua. He is always looking to receive the ball, and he uses it very well, and he is so composed on the ball. Willhoft-King is good defensively, but he is also a very creative player, whose passing is good, as is his skill on the ball and ability to skilfully get past players. He had some really good games for the Spurs Under 18 side during 2021/22.
There will be four forwards who will be joining the Spurs Under 18 side this season, as first year scholars. Damola Ajayi made two Premier League South appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, both as a substitute. Although he is a forward, Damola Ajayi can also play in midfield. He scored two goals in the Spurs Under 18’s recent 4-0 pre-season friendly win over Leyton Orient, earlier this month. The other forwards, who are part of the new group of first year scholars, are Yusuf Akhamrich, who scored a goal in the friendly win over Leyton Orient, and also Oliver Irow. Oliver Irow has also represented England at youth level, and although he only made one competitive appearance for the Spurs Under 18 side last season (as a substitute in a Premier League South fixture against Leicester City), the forward impressed with his movement off the ball in that game. He also almost scored a goal from a header in that match. Oliver Irow can play as a centre-forward or as a winger. I would like to wish the Spurs Academy first year scholars of the 2022/23 season, all the very best of luck for this season.