Some notes on Spurs’ highly skilful first year scholar Thomas Bloxham, and his 2021/22 season:

Thomas Bloxham is currently a first year scholar with Spurs. The winger from Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, has been at Spurs for a long time. He made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side as a late substitute in their opening Premier League South fixture of this season (2021/22), against Fulham. Bloxham made 26 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during the Academy season of 2021/22. Thomas didn’t always start matches during the season just gone, but he came off the bench as a substitute to make a good impression on matches. He actually started his first Premier League South match of the season for the Spurs Under 18 side, as a centre-forward in a home match against Leicester City, in the December of 2021. He scored five goals and provided one assist for Stuart Lewis’ side this season, but it was his performance against a good West Brom side in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup, when he scored two goals and was involved in other goals, in a 6-1 win, which was arguably his best performance of the season for Spurs.

Thomas Bloxham is such a skilful player who has a good low centre of gravity. With his clever twists and turns with the ball, he can be very difficult to defend against. I have also noticed that Thomas likes to try the Marseille turn with the ball in matches, and I have noticed that on occasions this season. A very clever player with the ball, the winger who has started matches on either flank this season, has an eye for goal. And the player with great balance often likes to go inside from the flank, with the ball to then find the goal (an example of this was in a recent league fixture against Norwich City, when he scored a goal). However, although Bloxham is a direct winger with the ball, he is also unpredictable, and really difficult to defend against. A really good striker of a football, Bloxham likes to try his luck from distance with the ball. His movement off the ball is very good (he works very hard off the ball as well) and he gets into some good positions in and around the penalty area.

During the last international break Thomas was called-up to represent the talented Republic of Ireland Under 17 side. This would have likely been a very proud and memorable moment for the 17 year old, and it shows just how highly rated he must be by the Football Association of Ireland. In some ways Thomas Bloxham reminds me a bit of Samuel Shashoua, when he was a first year scholar. Similar players who are both versatile, very skilful and who use the ball really well. Samuel of course would go onto become one of the finest players in the Premier League South during his second season of scholarship (2016/17). Unfortunately Thomas picked up an injury in the first half of Spurs’ Under 18’s last Premier League South fixture of the season, against Arsenal last Saturday, and he had to be substituted in the first half. I wish Thomas a good recovery and I look forward to seeing him again for Spurs next season, if not at the end of season Terborg Tournament.

Some notes on Spurs’ first year scholar and centre-forward – Jaden Williams:

In my latest article on the Spurs first year scholars of the 2021/22 season, I have written a piece on centre-forward Jaden Williams. The second top scorer for Spurs during the 2021/22 season at Under 18’s level, the player who was born at Northwick Park Hospital, but brought up in Edgware, has been at Spurs for a long time. Williams made 28 competitive appearances for Spurs’ Under 18 side during the 2021/22 season, plus an additional five appearances for Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side, in the Premier League 2. The versatile forward made his debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in a competitive fixture, in the first Premier League South fixture of the season, against Fulham (he scored in that game). Impressing not only with the goals that he has scored this season, but also in his all-round play, Jaden has shown that he can lead the line really well, but he is also capable of starting matches in different positions, such as out wide, as a winger.

Jaden Williams was in good goalscoring form during the early parts of the season, and would score in three consecutive Premier League South matches in the autumn of 2021. However, the player who scored 13 competitive goals for Stuart Lewis’ side during the season just gone, very impressively scored five goals against Birmingham City, in a Premier League South game at Hotspur Way, earlier this year, and he was unsurprisingly outstanding during that game. He has also shown the creative side to his game during the season just gone, and he provided eight assists during the 2021/22 season, for the Spurs Under 18 side. Williams has done really well this season, and he has linked up really well with the top scorer for the Spurs Under 18 side this season, Jamie Donley. Both players have a really good understanding with each other, and although when starting matches as a CAM, Jamie Donley often is the player who drops deep to make forward passes to Williams, both of their link up play is really good.

A very quick player, Jaden is a very good finisher inside the penalty area (he can strike a football well), and his movement off the ball and positioning inside the penalty area is also very good. In addition to being fast and having a good turn of pace, the first year scholar is a really skilful player, who likes to take defenders on with the ball. A good example of this was in Spurs’ Under 18’s 5-3 away win against West Ham United, earlier this year, when he showed great close ball control inside the West Ham box, before finishing well, following an excellent bit of skill to get past a West Ham defender. Even when leading the line, Williams likes to drift out wide to receive the ball on occasions, and he is also capable of making really good runs in behind the defence. The game which really stands out when you look through all of the matches that Jaden has been involved in this season, is the game against Birmingham City, when the forward scored five goals and provided two assists in a 7-0 win to Spurs.

In the game against Birmingham, Jaden Williams was absolutely outstanding. He made some excellent runs in behind the Birmingham defence, showed great skill on the ball, balance and also what a clinical finisher he is. Jaden has certainly impressed during his first year of scholarship at the club, and the season might not be over yet for Jaden, as it will be interesting to see if he is a part of the Spurs Under 19 side side that will participate in the Terborg Tournament, at the end of this month. However, the forward should be proud of all that he has achieved this season.

Some notes on Spurs’ first year scholar Billy Heaps, and his 2021/22 season:

Midfielder Billy Heaps has been really impressive for Spurs’ Under 18 side during the second half of the 2021/22 season. From Stevenage in Hertfordshire, Billy joined Spurs from League Two side Stevenage around three years ago, and has since worked his way up the various youth ranks at Spurs, before joining the club full-time in the summer of 2021. The first year scholar (16) who made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in an Under 18 Premier League Cup group-stage game against Leeds United last year, has also been called-up to represent England, at youth level in the past. Heaps had to wait until the November of 2021, to make his Premier League South debut, as a late substitute in a home game against Southampton. He has subsequently featured in every Spurs Under 18 league match apart from one, since making his league debut against Southampton, last year. A skilful midfield player, Billy Heaps has scored two goals and provided three assists from 17 appearances for Stuart Lewis’ side, so far this season.

Billy is a central-midfielder, who can also play as a defensive-midfielder, although he has also started matches out wide, on either flank so far this season. Heaps is a tenacious midfield player, has good pace, and is a really hard worker, who covers a lot of ground in midfield. Regardless of whether he has started matches out on the flanks or in central midfield, the first year scholar has shown his really good passing ability. He has great vision for a pass, is a creative player and one who is good with his long and short distance passing. Tidy in possession of the ball and clever in how he uses the ball, Billy Heaps is an efficient player, and one who has started to remind me quite a lot of Jamie Bowden, when he used to play for the Spurs Under 18 side. Both are very hardworking midfield players who also get forward well on the pitch, but they also have a good eye for goal, and are very good strikers of a football. 

Billy Heaps has made some terrific lofted passes in recent matches, and in Spurs’ second last Premier League South match of the season, yesterday against Brighton, the player who started the match out on the left flank, made two brilliant lofted forward passes to centre-forward Jamie Donley. From one of those passes, Donley scored a goal, but Heaps has made some similar passes, including one in the previous game against Norwich City (away), last Saturday. However, in that game against Brighton, Billy also scored a well taken goal from the left side of the Brighton penalty area. In another game, this time in a home Premier League South fixture against Norwich City, while starting in central midfield, Billy was quietly very effective in how he broke up play, used the ball and also in how composed he was in his overall play. Billy Heaps will be hoping to start the final Premier League South fixture of the 2021/22 season, against Arsenal on Saturday. 

A piece on Spurs’ highly skilful Academy midfielder Nile John:

Nile John made his return to the Spurs Under 23 side earlier in the week, in their Premier League 2 fixture with Derby County. The west London born professional footballer who is still on loan with League One side Charlton Athletic (he has yet to make an appearance for them this season), has made good strides this season with the Spurs Under 23 side. John is a versatile midfield player, who can play as a defensive-midfielder, a central-midfielder in a more forward role, a CAM or out wide as a winger. The England Under 19 international who has often been a regular for England at youth level, made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in a 5-3 Premier League South win over West Ham United (he provided an assist in that game), during the 2018/19 season. John signed scholarship forms with Spurs during the summer of 2019, but during his first year of scholarship he missed quite a lot of football because of injury. John was however, in fine form for the Spurs Under 18 side towards the end of the 2019/20. Putting in really good performances against the likes of Swansea City and also Southampton, in the final game of that season.

The midfielder was a regular starter and an important player for the Spurs Under 18 side during the first half of the following 2020/21 season, as they started the season well. John made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 23 side in a 5-1 Premier League 2 win in the January of 2021, and since that match he would spend the second half of the 2020/21 season with the Spurs Under 23 side. During that same season, Nile John made his competitive first team debut for Spurs as a substitute in a UEFA Europa League match against Wolfsberger AC. After spending much of the 2021/22 pre-season with the Spurs first team, Nile started Spurs’ first leg UEFA Europa Conference League play-off match against Paços Ferreira. He subsequently started the season with Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side, and he has done really well for them, adding a good number of goals to his game. The first year professional has scored seven goals and provided four assists from 17 appearances for Wayne Burnett’s side, so far this season.

 Nile hasn’t made an appearance for Charlton Athletic’s first team (they only have one remaining fixture this season), apart from making some appearances for their Under 23 side. A midfield player who has almost always started matches as a CAM for Spurs’ Under 23 side this season, Nile John is a midfield player with outstanding ability on the ball. He is more than capable of gliding past players with the ball, with great skill. In addition he has good pace, and likes to go on skilful surging forward runs with the ball from midfield. John’s short passing is very good, and he is a player who can ride challenges well. This season in particular the 19 year old midfielder has shown that he is a clinical goalscorer, especially when receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty area. He has scored some really good goals this season, including two wonderful goals from distance in games against Leeds United and Manchester City. He is able to strike a ball really well, but it is his ability to be very unpredictable with the ball and also his ability to be very capable of producing incredible pieces of skill, to get past players, which is what in my opinion makes him such a promising player.

Nile has really impressed when starting matches as a CAM for Spurs’ Under 23 side this season, and his stats have also been impressive for goals and assists. An incredibly skilful and talented player, it will be interesting to see whether Nile John goes out on loan again next season.

A piece on Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper and Academy graduate Brandon Austin:

It’s been a while since I last wrote a piece on Brandon Austin. The Spurs Academy graduate and goalkeeper, who has gone onto become Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper during this season (2021/22). The Hemel Hempstead born professional footballer who was previously with Chelsea before joining Spurs, signed scholarship forms with the club in the summer of 2015, but would have to wait quite a while until he got regular starts for the Spurs Under 18 side. Austin did make a lot more appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during the following 2016/17 season, when he was an important member of the Spurs Under 18 side that reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, during that season. Having made his competitive debut for the Spurs Development side during the 2015/16, Austin would later start a really good number of games for the Spurs Under 23 side as a first year professional with the club, in 2017/18. However, during the following 2018/19 season Brandon Austin started almost every game for the Spurs Under 23 side, and as well as impressing in the UEFA Youth League for the Spurs Under 19 side, he was consistently excellent for Spurs at Academy level during that season.

In the 2019/20 season Brandon did start quite a lot of games for the Spurs Under 23 side, but he was also a substitute goalkeeper for the Spurs first team on a good number of occasions, when Hugo Lloris was out injured. He did well during the second half of the 2019/20 season in the second tier of Danish football, when on his first ever loan, with Viborg FF, who he made 14 competitive appearances for. Austin returned to Spurs for the start of the 2020/21 season, but would join MLS Orlando City SC on loan in the January of 2021. Although he was the second choice goalkeeper for Orlando, the whole experience of being in a different first team set-up in a really good Orlando side, must have been a very enjoyable experience for Brandon, who also did make five appearances for Orlando during his time at the club. Since returning to Spurs from Orlando, Brandon has obviously been training with the Spurs first team on a regular basis, has become Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper during this season (2021/22), made the bench for the first team on occasions, and also very recently he signed a new contract with the club until 2024.

For those who have read my match reports over the years, you’ll have known that I’ve always thought a lot of Brandon as a goalkeeper. He is undoubtedly one of the very best goalkeepers that I have ever seen in Academy football. Such is his excellent ability to not only make the most remarkable of reflex saves, saves which have often left me wondering how he managed to stop the ball from going into the goal, but also how commanding he is inside his penalty area. From crosses and set-pieces I really can’t recall him making an error, especially since stepping up to Under 23’s football. An expert at saving penalty kicks, Austin as a goalkeeper is a real character, and one who is very vocal on the pitch, and not afraid to tell the defenders where they should be, and what they should be doing, if they aren’t doing their jobs properly. I have often seen a lot of leadership qualities in Brandon as a goalkeeper, especially at Academy level. I think that his distribution has also improved since he started playing first team football.

The goalkeeper who excelled at Under 23 level and who was absolutely outstanding during that 2018/19 season, is just a very reliable goalkeeper, and someone who is always alert and on his toes in matches. He is good at rushing out of his goal, and he also uses his body well to close down the angles to make saves. Austin will have become an even better goalkeeper for his experiences out on loan in Denmark and America, but also for his experience with the Spurs first team. Training with the first team and being in the match day squad as a third choice or in some cases second choice goalkeeper, must be great for a goalkeeper of 23. When he was eligible, Brandon was also called-up to the England Under 21 squad, and that in itself shows just how highly rated a goalkeeper Brandon is. Obviously a lot depends on the first team goalkeeping situation next season, and what happens in the summer transfer window. However, hopefully Brandon will get to make his debut for the Spurs first team at some point during next pre-season. Whether he goes out loan again next season or stays with the Spurs first team as the third choice goalkeeper will be interesting to see, but the fact that Brandon recently signed a new contract until 2024, is really encouraging news.

I still strongly believe that Brandon is capable of becoming the first Spurs Academy graduate since Ian Walker to go on and become the first choice goalkeeper for Spurs at some point in the future. However, in the meantime I wish him all the very best of luck for next season, and of course the remainder of this season.

A piece on Spurs’ promising Academy goalkeeper Thimothée Lo-Tutala:

Goalkeeper Thimothée Lo-Tutala has established himself as the first choice goalkeeper for France’s Under 19 side during this season. The former Brentford Academy player, who has been at Spurs for a good number of years, joined Spurs full-time in the summer of 2019, for the start of the 2019/20 season. Lo-Tutala was born in Paris, in France, but brought up in Hainault, Essex. While with Brentford, he would have been with future Spurs Academy players Dermi Lusala and Eddie Carrington, who were in the same age group as him at the west London club. First making the Spurs Under 18 squad as a substitute in a Premier League South game away to Brighton & Hove Albion during the 2017/18 season, Lo-Tutala made a decent number of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during his first season full-time with the club, in 2019/20. He also started both of the FA Youth Cup games that Spurs played in that season. However, it was during the following 2020/21 season that Thimothée Lo-Tutala really became the first choice goalkeeper for the Spurs Under 18 side. 

During the 2020/21 season, Lo-Tutala was a regular for then Spurs Under 18’s head-coach Matt Taylor’s side, and was named captain of the side on all but one occasion during that season. He also kept seven clean-sheets for the Spurs Under 18 side during that season, and would go onto make his debut for the Spurs Under 23 side in the Premier League 2, in a 6-1 home loss to Manchester City, in the final league game of that season. After featuring for the Spurs Under 23 side during pre-season, Thimothée made his first competitive start of the season for the Spurs Under 23 side in a 3-1 away win against Manchester City in the Premier League 2, and has since gone onto make a further seven appearances for Wayne Burnett’s side in all competitions, plus an additional two for the Spurs Under 18 side, during the early part of this season. Lo-Tutala has done really well in my opinion this season, in the games that he has started. There has also obviously been a lot of competition for a goalkeeping place in the Spurs Under 23 side, with Joshua Oluwayemi, Kacper Kurylowicz and Isak Solberg also all part of the Spurs Under 23 squad.

Really impressing in Premier League 2 games against the likes of Manchester City (at home) and Manchester United (at home), Thimothée was first selected to represent the country that he was born in (France) at Under 19 level for the September international break, of 2021. The goalkeeper has since made 10 appearances for a very talented France Under 19 side, and the goalkeeper who speaks fluent French has kept three clean-sheets so far for the French Under 19 side. So what kind of goalkeeper is Thimothée? Well he is a tall and very commanding goalkeeper, and one who doesn’t let physical centre-forward’s get the better of him from crosses and set-pieces. He is a reliable goalkeeper and I’ve always noticed in matches that he is very alert. Always talking the defenders through the game, and giving them instructions, Thimothée has good distribution, and he doesn’t take unnecessary risks with the ball at his feet. He is capable of rushing out of his goal at a good pace to clear the ball if needed, but he is also a very good shot stopper, and one who is capable of making excellent reflex saves, especially from close range (for example – the great late save that he made against AFC Wimbledon in the FA Youth Cup, last season).

Good at saving penalties, as he has shown on occasions since joining the club full-time in 2019, Lo-Tutala is in my opinion just a very good all-round goalkeeper, and someone who has got better and better over the past couple of seasons, continuing to make really good strides. At Spurs, the Academy goalkeepers who are at the club, are all very talented ones, and so Thimothée and also the very talented Joshua Oluwayemi have both had good opportunities of game time for the Spurs Under 23 side this season, which is great to see. I would like to wish Thimothée all the very best of luck for the remainder of the season. A season which he has done really well in, so far.

Some notes on Spurs Academy goalkeepers, Adam Hayton, Luca Gunter and Aaron Maguire:

Still all scholars at the club, Spurs Academy goalkeepers Adam Hayton, Luca Gunter and Aaron Maguire all play for Spurs’ Under 18 side. All three goalkeepers have featured for the Spurs Under 18 side this season. Adam Hayton and Aaron Maguire are second year scholars with the club, while England youth international Luca Gunter is in his first year of scholarship with the club. The following short piece includes some notes on all three goalkeepers and their time at Spurs so far, since joining the club on a full-time basis. All very talented goalkeepers, this season just like in all of the others seasons that I have been watching Spurs’ Academy sides, Spurs have always had such talented goalkeepers.

Adam Hayton: Luton born goalkeeper Adam Hayton has made ten competitive appearances for Spurs’ Under 18 side this season. He joined Spurs full-time in the summer of 2020, and last season (2020/21) Adam Hayton made six appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in all competitions, in his debut season with the club on a full-time basis, and he captained them on one occasion last season. For the start of this season Hayton started the first two Premier League South matches, and has so far made an additional eight appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side, as well as making the bench for the Spurs Under 23 side on occasions. Impressing greatly in the two games with Reading in the league, by making a number of match winning saves, Adam Hayton has been reliable throughout the season in the games that he has started, in my opinion. Still eligible to play for the side next season, as Thimothée Lo-Tutala has been this season (he has mainly been with the Spurs Under 23 side), the 17 year old goalkeeper is a very good shot stopper. He has shown that he is capable of making some very good saves, and he commands his box well as he showed as recently as the Norwich City game, on Friday.

A brave goalkeeper and one who I really think has been solid this season whenever he has been given the chance, Adam Hayton is clearly a very talented goalkeeper and one who will be hoping to get more starts for Stuart Lewis’ side during the remainder of the season. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Adam made the Spurs Under 19 squad that travels to The Netherlands for the end of season Terborg Tournament, as a second year scholar.

Aaron Maguire: A player who has represented the Republic of Ireland and also England at youth international level, second year scholar and Londoner Aaron Maguire has so far made four appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in the Premier League South this season. Maguire made five Premier League South appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side last season, in his first season full-time with the club. Aaron is a calm goalkeeper who also shows great composure in matches, and who also impresses with his distribution. The goalkeeper who only this season was called-up to the Republic of Ireland Under 19 squad, reminds me in some ways of Academy goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz, when he was a second year scholar at the club. As like Kurylowicz, Maguire is good at rushing off his line and at making good saves when making his body big, to close down the angles. Aaron has kept one clean sheet this season, in a 7-0 league win over Birmingham City, and he has impressed every time that I have seen him play, including in the Under 17 Premier League Cup final with Manchester City, earlier this month.

The second year scholar like Adam Hayton, will still be eligible to play matches for the Spurs Under 18 side next season. Maguire is yet another one of the promising Academy goalkeepers at Spurs who has good potential in my opinion, and one who I’m looking forward to seeing more of over the next couple of seasons.

Luca Gunter: First year scholar Luca Gunter is a local lad from Enfield, who was previously with Queen’s Park Rangers. A tall goalkeeper with very good reflexes, Luca Gunter impressed greatly in his debut for Spurs’ Under 18 side last October, in a 0-0 Under 18 Premier League Cup game with Stoke City, at Hotspur Way. Gunter made a good number of impressive saves during that match for Spurs. A goalkeeper with very good positioning inside his box, and one who is also quick on his feet, and capable of making really fine saves. Luca has made an additional ten competitive appearances for Stuart Lewis’ side this season, and I think that just like Adam Hayton and Aaron Maguire, Luca has done well in a very talented Spurs Under 18 side. Possibly his finest game so far this season came in the FA Youth Cup fifth round tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers, earlier in the year. After doing well in the previous two rounds, where he made some really good saves, Luca Gunter made a great number of really fine saves in the FA Youth Cup match against Wolves, and his positioning throughout that 3-0 loss, was very good. Having already made the Spurs Under 23’s squad on two occasions this season, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the goalkeeper who recently signed his first professional contract with the club, make his debut for the Spurs Under 23 side next season.

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. 

A piece on Spurs’ versatile first year scholar Maxwell McKnight, and his fine debut full-time season with the club so far:

A right-back who has most often been playing as a winger out on the right flank so far this season (2021/22), Maxwell McKnight (17) is a player who in my opinion has had a very good first season as a scholar at Spurs, so far. The Colchester born first year scholar who was previously with West Ham United up until around five years ago, has been a key player for head-coach Stuart Lewis’ Spurs Under 18 side this season. McKnight joined Spurs on a full-time basis in the summer of 2021 and made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in their opening Premier League South game of the season, against Fulham last August. The player who provided 12 assists for the Spurs Under 16 side last season as well as scoring some goals, has made an impressive total of 24 competitive appearances for Spurs’ Under 18 side so far this season. The 17 year old has been really impressive this season, both at right-back and as a winger. He has created a really good number of chances for the forwards from out wide, and he has provided the most assists for his teammates in the Spurs Under 18 side (nine). McKnight has had several very good games for the Spurs Under 18 side this season.

So what type of player is Maxwell? Well regardless of whether he starts matches on the right flank as either a winger or as a full-back (he is also capable of starting out on the left flank), he is a very quick and direct player, and one who really likes to take on defenders. Whenever I have seen him play for Spurs at Academy level I have noticed that Maxwell is always looking to take players on, and that includes without the ball, when he is looking to get in a more forward position to receive the ball. Physical on the ball but also skilful with it at his feet, he has used his pace really well in matches this season, and with his quick feet he can be very difficult to defend against. Maxwell also has good balance on the pitch, works very hard off the ball and has shown a real determination to make a difference in matches this season for the Spurs Under 18 side. In many ways when playing as a winger, Maxwell reminds me of a very direct and traditional English winger, as someone who likes to take players on and deliver promising crosses into the penalty area, although he is also unpredictable with the ball.

Maxwell’s ability to cross a ball really well is very impressive, and he puts lots of pace and curl on his crosses (he can also hit a ball sweetly). McKnight also tracks back well after him as a winger, and he links up well with the right-back. As a right-back he manages to get into good defensive positions, while also getting forward well as well, to make good overlapping runs, as he showed in the most recent Under 18 game, between Spurs and Reading. In many ways I think that Maxwell is very much like a modern day full-back, and one who combines his defensive duties with getting forward to join the forwards well. Going back a few years to when Anthony Georgiou and Shilow Tracey played for Spurs out wide at Academy level, Maxwell reminds me a bit of both of those players, particularly Georgiou, because of his versatility, pace, tenacity and directness with the ball. It will be interesting to see which position he will be playing in on the pitch in the long term for Spurs.

Particularly impressive in two games against Crystal Palace and West Brom respectively this season. Both of these games showed in my opinion Maxwell at his best, at this stage of his career. In both matches he showed a real desire to get forward while starting as a winger on the right flank, and he was constantly creating space for himself to receive the ball, get forward with it and create chances for his teammates. He has been very unselfish in his play this season, and both of those games showed this. He got an assist in both of those games. Maxwell will be hoping to start for Spurs’ Under 17 side tomorrow evening, in their Under 17 Premier League Cup final against Manchester City at the Loughborough University Stadium. Maxwell is just at the beginning of his footballing career, and I would like to say well done for how he has done so far this season, as in my opinion he has done very well. I also would like to wish him all the best for the remainder of the season, and it will be interesting to see if he is included in the Spurs Under 19 squad that will compete in the end of season Terborg Tournament, in The Netherlands.

Some notes on Spurs player Harvey White and his season so far:

Harvey White has been a key player once again for the Spurs Development side, this season. The Maidstone born footballer, who has so often been playing as the furthest forward of the two central-midfielders during this season, because of Brooklyn Lyons-Foster almost always playing in the defensive-midfield role. Harvey has contributed by scoring an impressive seven goals from midfield and also providing seven assists, from 20 competitive appearances. Last season (2020/21) I thought that Harvey really impressed during the pre-season of that season, with the first team. He then continued to be a mainstay of the Spurs Under 23 side, during the first half of the season. However, he then went out on his first loan, moving to League One side Portsmouth, during the second half of the season. While there, the midfielder made 22 appearances for Portsmouth, scoring one goal and registering one assist. The loan move to the English south coast, must have been an invaluable experience for Harvey at that stage in his career. As although he wasn’t always starting matches for Portsmouth, he still got a good amount of minutes at senior level.

I watched quite a lot of the matches that Harvey played for Portsmouth, last season. I thought that he did well, didn’t look at all out of place at that level, and showed his technical quality on the ball, while also showing good movement off the ball, as well. This season, Harvey started pre-season with the first team, before playing the final friendly game of pre-season, for the Spurs Development side, in a game against Barnet. Harvey started the new season with the Spurs Development side really well, and he soon started getting a good number of goals and assists. Often captaining Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side this season, the midfielder was excellent in a Premier League 2 away game against Leeds United, earlier on in the season, which Spurs won 4-2. During that game the 20 year old showed great vision and passing ability with the ball, but he also showed really good tenacity as well, and also a real desire to want to win the game for Spurs. Always available to receive the ball, he looked very assured in the middle of the pitch.

In Spurs Under 23 matches this season against for example Blackburn Rovers away (the game finished 3-3), a 3-1 away win over Manchester City, and also impressive wins over Leicester City and Everton, Harvey along with now former Spurs Academy player Dilan Markanday, were often the difference for Spurs in those games. Harvey has shown on numerous occasions in the Premier League 2 and also the Papa John’s Trophy, a real desire to make late runs into the penalty area, from midfield. The player who often used to play as a CAM during the early stages of his football career, is a good finisher who will get an impressive number of goals from midfield. However, he is also a very creative midfield player, who can change a game by taking a chance on the ball, and making a decisive pass. A set-piece specialist, who is often praised by fans for his quality left foot. The Spurs player can also make quality passes off his right foot, and also scores on his right foot, as well. During a 4-0 Premier League 2 home win over Everton, earlier in the season, Harvey White completely controlled the game from start to finish. He scored a really well taken goal, but also created numerous good chances for teammates as well.

In games this season Harvey has continued to show good skill on the ball. And he is capable of taking players on for skill. However, it’s his footballing brain and craft on the ball, which has seen him excel for Spurs through the scholarship years, to the Under 23 side, and which has now seen him get into the first team setup (he has already made two competitive appearances for the Spurs first team, and has made the bench on nine occasions for them so far this season). I very rarely say this about footballers at this level, but Harvey, just like his old Spurs teammate and friend Luis Binks, is a player who has just never seemed to have a bad game at Academy level. At least from all of the games that I have seen him involved in over the years at Academy level. He seems to have become more physical in games this season at Under 23 level, and has also become even more vocal in games, after often being given the captains armband during the first half of the season. Now often making the bench for the first team in recent games, it’s great to see Harvey involved a lot in Spurs’ first team setup, recently. And it really is greatly deserved.

I really hope that Harvey White gets a chance in the first team in the near future. However, training with the first team and under the guidance of the excellent Antonio Conte, I am sure that Harvey is really enjoying this invaluable experience of being around the first team setup. I would like to wish Harvey all the very best of luck for the remainder of the season.