My piece on Spurs’ skilful and creative second year scholar Riley Owen:

Riley Owen is now in his second season of scholarship with Spurs. The 17 year old Academy player made 20 competitive appearances for Spurs’ Under 18 side during the 2021/22 season, scoring three goals and providing two assists. Born in London and brought up in Bromley, Riley had previously been with Arsenal, prior to joining the Spurs Academy set-up. A direct winger who often starts matches on the left flank as a winger, but who can also play on the right flank or as a CAM, Riley Owen is a very skilful player, who has a good low centre of gravity and the ability to go past defenders at pace. Only just being eligible to be in Spurs’ first year scholarship group from last season, instead of being in the current first year scholarship group of players (his birthday is in late August), Riley made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in their opening Premier League South match of the 2021/22 season, against Fulham.

Riley Owen scored two goals against Birmingham City in an away Premier League South fixture, early on in the 2021/22 season, and he started last season well. Riley is very good at creating space for himself, and his movement off the ball is also very good. Skilful, fast and direct with the ball at his feet, he can ride a challenge well and is good at receiving the ball on the turn. In a home league fixture against West Bromwich Albion during the 2021/22 season, Riley showed his fine ability to make good runs into space, in the forward areas of the pitch. As he made a clever run between the West Brom defence, before heading a late winning goal for Spurs. I often would watch Riley’s movement off the ball in matches last season, and it really impressed me. He is a creative player, who in some ways reminds me a bit of Dilan Markanday, when he was at the same stage of his footballing journey. Both very skilful, fast, clever and creative players, who are always looking to create opportunities out of very little. Riley’s link-up play is good, and he is more than capable of going on long and skilful runs forward with the ball at pace.

These are still very early days in Riley’s footballing career, but he is only going to get better and better, in my opinion. Riley impressed me in a pre-season tournament match against Kerala Blasters FC, this pre-season, and he really showed the creative side to his game in that fixture. I would like to wish Riley all the very best for the remainder of the 2022/23 season.

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