Five Spurs Academy players/graduates that I’m hoping to see play for the Spurs first team during pre-season of 2023:

The 2022/23 season may just have finished, but with the Spurs first team’s first friendly of next pre-season taking place on the 18th of July against West Ham United in Perth, Australia, I thought that I’d write this article earlier than I usually would. The two other pre-season friendly matches that have been scheduled so far, are against Leicester City in Bangkok, Thailand, on the 23rd of July, and on the 26th of July they face Italian side AS Roma in Singapore. Pre-season often means that Spurs’ Academy players/graduates get the opportunity to play for the first team and make an impression, and hopefully that will be the case this summer, as well. In the following piece, the players that I have written about/selected that I personally would like to see feature for the Spurs first team in pre-season, are just my personal opinions. However, there are so many other players that I could also have written about/included in this piece, and as always it is very difficult just to write about just five players. I wish all of the Spurs Academy players the very best of luck for 2023/24. 

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Having featured in this annual series of articles for the last couple of years, as many of you will know, I’ve always thought very highly of Brooklyn Lyons-Foster as a player. The Islington born defender is a very versatile player, who is capable of playing in central defence, full-back (on either flank) and in midfield. He is a superb reader of the game, who despite being very unlucky with injuries over the last couple of seasons, he has returned even stronger and in my opinion better than before, from these injuries. Since returning to play for the Spurs Under 21 side at central-defence during the following season, from a defensive-midfield position, Brooklyn was in my opinion the Spurs Under 21’s best player last season. The quality and leadership that the 22 year old showed for that side was very good, and Spurs really missed him at such an important stage of the season, after he was ruled out for several weeks through injury. Very comfortable on the ball and able to bring it out well from defence and also distribute it well, Lyons-Foster’s excellent positioning and all-round defending has impressed me greatly for a long time.

Formerly of Watford’s Academy set-up, Brooklyn has already featured for the Spurs first team in pre-season of 2021, but in my opinion he really deserves an opportunity to show his quality for the Spurs first team in the pre-season of 2023.

Maxwell McKnight: Although Maxwell McKnight hasn’t made many appearances for the Spurs Under 21 side so far, the first year professional (from 2023/24) is a player who can play in a number of positions. The 18 year old from Colchester was formerly with West Ham United prior to joining Spurs, and in his two seasons as a scholar with the club I thought that he was one of the Spurs Under 18’s best and most impressive players. He is capable of playing at right-back, as a winger and at left-back, and he has often demonstrated his ability to get forward with the ball, and to create chances from wide positions. In 2021/22 Maxwell McKnight provided an impressive number of assists, as well as defending well when he needed to. He has a great ability to cross the ball, and the accuracy of his crosses is impressive. However, Maxwell’s work off the ball is in my opinion equally as impressive. He works really well off the ball, and his movement and pace are very good. A regular for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2022/23, he was a member of the Spurs Under 18 side that won the Under 18 Premier League Cup, during the same season.

Maxwell McKnight is a player with a really good balance to his game, and his ability to cover a number of positions could possibly mean that he features for the Spurs first team during pre-season of this year. On his only competitive appearance for the Spurs Under 21 side, at right-back in a Papa Johns Trophy game (against Peterborough United’s first team, last year) Maxwell was in my opinion Spurs’ best player in that game.

George Abbott: In the 2023/24 season Spurs Under 18’s regular and defensive-midfielder George Abbott will be a first year professional with Spurs. The Londoner, who is 17 (he turns 18 in August), will be known to most Spurs fans, after he made his competitive first team debut for Spurs as a late substitute against Leeds United, on Sunday in the Premier League. George made a really fine late challenge in the Spurs penalty area shortly after being introduced to the game. He is a tenacious midfield player with excellent off the ball work, but he is also good on the ball, and he has good pace and skill, which allows him to bring it forward well from midfield. George can also play at right-back and left-back, and he did well there during the season just gone, often playing in those positions for the Spurs Under 21 side, who he made a good number of appearances for, at that level. The Islington born Spurs player has made really good strides over the last year, and his first team debut last Sunday, was really well deserved. He is strong in the challenge, and his ability to play in a good number of positions will stand him in really good stead for the future.

Harvey White: The talented and creative central midfielder often plays in a deep lying central midfield position. However, the former CAM still has a real creative side to his game. From Maidstone in Kent, Harvey White has already featured for the Spurs team, in friendly matches and in competitive games. He trained regularly with the Spurs first team during the first half of last season, making his Premier League debut in a game with Crystal Palace, before joining League One side Derby County on a loan move for the second half of the season. Harvey is very capable of setting the tempo of games, and he is often the focal point of creativity in the middle of the pitch, for Spurs at Academy level. He has a great left foot and he is also a real set-piece specialist, with great vision. However, he is also a real leader, who doesn’t shy away from showing his leadership qualities on the pitch. Next pre-season will hopefully allow the 21 year old to get a good amount of game time, to demonstrate his quality for the first team.

Troy Parrott: The Republic of Ireland international and Spurs Academy graduate will be hoping to get a good opportunity to impress the Spurs coaching staff in pre-season of 2023. The Dubliner and centre-forward was on loan at Preston North End, in the Championship last season. He may not have scored as many goals as he would have hoped, but pre-season will hopefully provide the very talented 21 year old an opportunity to get a good run of games for the Spurs first team. Always looking to make clever runs off the ball, the centre-forward showed so often for Spurs at Academy level that he is such a clinical finisher. His ability to score a real variety of goal and get past players for pace and skill, made Troy one of the best Academy forwards in England. Playing with better players around him, with a different style of play would in my opinion really benefit the centre-forward, and also allow him to flourish.

A short piece on Spurs Academy goalkeeper Aaron Maguire – A player to look out for in the future:

Goalkeeper Aaron Maguire has been in the Spurs Academy set-up for a number of years. Born in Whipps Cross and brought up in Chingford, Maguire has represented England up until Under 17 level, and the Republic of Ireland up until Under 19 level, at international level. A good communicator from his penalty area, Aaron would make five league appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2020/21, as a first year scholar, before missing quite a bit of the start of the following season through injury. However, the goalkeeper still made some good progress during that season at Under 18 level for Spurs, and he would also start for a Spurs Under 17 side in the final of that season’s Under 17 Premier League Cup final, against Manchester City. Manchester City convincingly beat Spurs in that final, but Maguire was one of Spurs’ best players. In the same season Aaron had fine games against the likes of Fulham, Birmingham City and Arsenal, in the Under 18 Premier League South.

Aaron Maguire started the season just gone (2022/23) by competing with summer signing Josh Keeley and Adam Hayton (now of Barnsley) for a starting place in the Spurs Under 21 side. He would make four Premier League 2 appearances for the Spurs Under 21 side, and it was on his competitive debut at that level, in a league game against Manchester City, that he had his very best game at that level, so far. Making a series of very good saves in that game at Manchester City’s Academy Stadium, Maguire had an excellent game, making some really good decisions against a top Manchester City side. The game finished 0-0, with Aaron keeping a clean-sheet, and he would start the next three league games for Spurs’ Under 21 side after that. He wouldn’t play again in a competitive match for the Spurs Under 21 side after September, but he would make one appearance for the Spurs Under 19 side in a UEFA Youth League with Sporting Lisbon at Hotspur Way, before then keeping a clean-sheet in an Under 18 Premier League South game with Norwich City, in April.

A very alert goalkeeper who is good at rushing out of his goal, Aaron Maguire is good at closing down the angles, and as a goalkeeper he has great reflexes. He has demonstrated that he has good distribution, and the tall goalkeeper is a reliable goalkeeper, whose handling of the ball is also good. Next season in 2023/24, Aaron Maguire will be competing with Josh Keeley and Luca Gunter for a starting place in the Spurs Under 21 side, and he will be hoping to make even more appearances for that side, than he did in the previous 2022/23 season.

Looking ahead to a big pre-season for Spurs Academy graduates Troy Parrott and Harvey White:

Both Troy Parrott and Harvey White have progressed through the Spurs Academy set-up, with both players part of the extremely talented 2018/19 Academy age group at the club. Parrott spent this season on loan with Championship side Preston North End, where he made 34 competitive appearances, scoring four goals for them following his loan move to Lancashire last summer. Harvey White spent the first half of the season with Spurs, mainly playing for their Under 21 side, as well as making one competitive appearance for the Spurs first team, from the bench in a Premier League fixture with Crystal Palace in January. In addition to that first team appearance, Harvey also started two first team mid-season friendly matches, against Motherwell and Nice respectively, in the false nine centre-forward position. He would join League One side Derby County on loan, during early 2023, and he would make 15 competitive appearances for them (Harvey started five of those matches).

Troy Parrott is the most promising centre-forward that I have ever seen play in the Spurs Academy set-up. The former Belvedere player and current Republic of Ireland international, is still very much a player who in my opinion has so much potential. The 21 year old has spent the last three seasons away from Spurs on loan, enjoying a particularly successful loan with then League One side MK Dons in 2021/22, when he often wasn’t playing as the main centre-forward. Parrott is in my opinion faster than most players, has good skill on the ball and most importantly of all he gets into excellent positions from which he can score goals from, such is his excellent off the ball movement and anticipation of situations on the pitch. Of course as a centre-forward, despite the fact that he wasn’t always playing as a centre-forward, he’ll not be satisfied with his stats for goals scored for Preston last season. However, the Republic of Ireland international who has already won 18 international caps for his country, would in my opinion in a better team with top players, excel, and get a lot of goals.

At Academy level Troy quickly became too good for the Spurs Under 18 side and in time the Spurs Under 21 side. He also quickly became physically ready to play senior football, but it was his determination to get into goalscoring positions, link-up play and desire to drop deep as well as his clinical ability in front of goal, which made him one of the top academy prospects in the country. He started and scored for a Spurs Under 21 side, in their friendly match with Syracuse University on Friday. I really hope that he gets some really good minutes for the Spurs first team in pre-season, to show much that he can contribute in a top side, which I fully believe he can do. Central midfielder Harvey White also got minutes in the friendly match with Syracuse University, following his return from his loan move at Derby County. Harvey is as many Spurs fans now know, a great set-piece taker, who has a wonderful left foot. However, the 21 year old is a midfielder who has a real tenacity to his game, and at Academy level I have seen him run games with real ease from midfield.

Harvey White has played for Spurs quite a bit in pre-season before, but I personally think that he has improved quite a lot from watching him in recent seasons. I’m sure that he would have liked to have started more games for Derby, but in the Spurs Under 21 side last season it became quite evident as one of the more senior players in the side, that he was developing into a fine leader, and someone who could encourage and motivate his teammates in difficult situations on the pitch. He likes to get forward and score goals, as well as working hard for the team and doing a lot of defensive work. However, he is as I wrote earlier, someone who really can make the difference in matches. He is a very intelligent midfield player with a great understanding of the game, at still an early stage of his footballing career. I really hope that both Troy and Harvey get some really good minutes for the Spurs first team in pre-season, and from there can really flourish during 2023/24. 

A piece on Spurs goalkeeper and Academy graduate Alfie Whiteman, following his new contract with the club:

Goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman is a local lad to Spurs, in Tottenham, and he has always been a Spurs fan. The 24 year old Academy graduate recently signed a new contract with the club until 2025, and the player who made his debut as a late substitute in a UEFA Europa League group-stage fixture against Ludogorets Razgrad in 2020, also impressed for the Spurs first team in matches during the following pre-season. A talented and commanding goalkeeper with great reflexes and a good amount of success at saving penalty kicks, Alfie Whiteman has been at Spurs for a long time, along with goalkeeper Brandon Austin, who was also part of the same very talented 2015/16 Academy age group. Impressing and featuring a lot for the Spurs Under 18 side during his two years of scholarship with Spurs, Alfie would later step-up permanently to the then Spurs Under 23 side, from 2017 onwards.

A vocal goalkeeper with good organisation skills, I remember well Alfie Whiteman’s time in the Spurs Academy, from the scholarship days onwards. He was consistent for both the Spurs Under 18 and Under 23 side, and the former England youth international who was capped by England up until Under 19 level, would put in some big performances for the two main Spurs Academy sides. I can remember him  putting in a brilliant performance at Old Trafford for the old Spurs Under 23 side in a Premier League 2 fixture with Manchester United in 2018, as well as some other really good ones against Arsenal and Leicester City respectively. And in the same season (Alfie and Brandon were the two main goalkeepers for the Spurs Under 23 side that season) Alfie got a really good amount of game time for Spurs. He would later often train with the first team in previous seasons, as well as playing some matches for the Spurs Development side, on occasions.

Very good at saving efforts from distance owing to his impressive positioning, the Spurs goalkeeper also claims corner-kicks and set-pieces well, and he has very good reactions from close range. Alfie Whiteman would join Swedish side Degerfors on loan during their 2021 season, before returning to Spurs and later rejoining them on loan for the 2022 season, where he got some very good experience of playing regular football in the Swedish top flight. Not long after returning from his second loan move at Degerfors, Alfie played a match for the Spurs Under 21 side against Liverpool, in the Premier League 2. He had a really good game against Liverpool, making some fine saves and also organising the Spurs defence well. I am very pleased that Alfie has had his stay extended at Spurs, as along with Brandon Austin he really deserves it. Also, given the opportunity with the first team in a match, I am sure that he would do the club proud. I would like to congratulate Alfie on his new contract, and I wish him well for the remainder of this season.

Some notes on Spurs Under 21’s defender Maksim Paskotši, and his recent impressive performances:

Spurs Academy player Maksim Paskotši is an international footballer for Estonia, and at 20 he has already won 16 caps for his country. The former Flora Tallinn player who joined Spurs in 2020 and who impressed for the Spurs Under 18 side in his first season at the club, also scored quite a lot of goals for a defender whilst playing at that level for the club. Since the start of the 2021/22 season, the versatile defender has been with the Spurs Under 21 side on a permanent basis. And although he hasn’t always been a regular in the Under 21 side, he has started all four of Spurs’ Under 21’s four games this year, and I personally think that he has done very well in those matches. Although he started off in central defence when he first joined Spurs, Maksim has also shown his versatility in defence. He has defended really solidly in all four competitive matches that he has been involved in for the Spurs Under 21 side this season, and starting with the Liverpool game last month when Maksim completed 61 minutes and defended well against talented winger Ben Doak during some of that match, he has since gone onto put in three more really fine defensive performances.

Maksim Paskotši is a tenacious defender, who at left-back has shown his really good pace. He is strong in the challenge and can tackle well, and he has also shown his good reading of the game, and also his ability to get forward well to support the forward players. In the recent Under 21’s games against Arsenal, Brighton and Everton, Maksim has  impressed with his all-round game, and defensively with his tackling and positioning, and I think that he has done really well. He defended well on his side of the pitch against Charles Sagoe Jr in the game against Arsenal and against Liam Higgins and Nathan Patterson in the Everton game, whilst also doing well in the recent game with Brighton. Hopefully Maksim gets a really good run of games in the Spurs Under 21 side at left-back during the remainder of this season, as he continues to improve.

Some notes on Spurs’ Under 21’s recent 1-1 draw with Everton, in the Premier League 2:

The Spurs Under 21 side recorded a 1-1 draw against Everton in Southport on Friday evening, to keep up their unbeaten start to the new year. The game didn’t get off to the best of starts for Spurs, with the home side taking the lead through Stanley Mills after just two minutes. However, Spurs grew into the game, and by the time that the final whistle was sounded, Spurs had created the better chances of the two sides, and thanks to Alfie Devine’s clever headed equalising goal, Spurs secured a good point in Southport. In the following piece I will be writing about some of the impressive performances in the Spurs side, in what was a good team performance. Defensively I thought that it was a good performance from Spurs. The impressive Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Malachi Fagan-Walcott worked well together in central defence, and were decisive in their defending. Also, Lyons-Foster  was as always impressive on the ball, and he passed the ball well into midfield.

Midfielder Max Robson once again started the match at right-back. The 20 year old impressed, in my opinion. He defended well, but he also got forward well, impressing with his good pace and determination. And his forward runs were good, and he made one really good forward pass during the match. On the other side of the pitch, Maksim Paskotši had another good game at left-back. The Estonia international defended solidly on that side of the pitch, including against Everton’s first team right-back Nathan Patterson, who started the match for Everton’s Under 21 side on Friday. And in central midfield, Matthew Craig was very good for Spurs yesterday evening. The Scotland Under 21 international was everywhere in midfield, and his work-rate was superb. Craig used the ball well, and at times also covered well for other players. He has started the year really well for Spurs’ Under 21 side.

Finally I thought that Spurs’ goalscorer Alfie Devine had another good game for Spurs, and as well as taking his goal well, he also showed his class on the ball during his time on the pitch, whilst working well off the ball as well. And on the left flank for Spurs, Romaine Mundle had another very good game. Always very inventive on the ball and direct, Romaine did well against Nathan Patterson, during the Everton player’s time on the pitch. The 19 year old Spurs player also provided the assist for Alfie Devine’s first half goal, by delivering a good free-kick into the Everton penalty area. Spurs’ Under 21 side face Crystal Palace on Monday the 27th of February, in their next Premier League 2 fixture.

My short piece on Spurs’ Academy defender Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and his excellent recent form for the Spurs Development side:

A player that I have written a number of articles on in recent years, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster (22), is a player who I have always thought very highly of, regardless of which position he plays in on the pitch. The versatile Islington born defender returned from a serious injury that he sustained in a Premier League 2 fixture against Blackburn Rovers last season, during this pre-season. However, Brooklyn only started his first competitive game for the Spurs Under 21 side in late September of last year, in a 4-0 Premier League 2 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion. Since that game he has almost always played in central defence, a position which he regularly used to play in for a number of years. Putting in a series of very impressive and influential performances for the Spurs Under 21 side, against the likes of Fulham, Manchester United, West Ham and Arsenal, Brooklyn has bounced back from his very unfortunate injury, to in my opinion become such an important member of the Under 21 side, and a real leader in the side as well.

It hasn’t just been the defensive blocks, the important challenges and the great reading of the game that he has shown, alongside his central defensive partner Malachi Fagan-Walcott. It has also been the maturity, responsibility and leadership that he has shown in every single game this season that he has played. And just like in Spurs’ first two wins of the season, against Liverpool and Arsenal respectively, in the last two matches. Brooklyn has been so important and influential in helping Spurs to get those all important victories, as they look to climb their way up the Division One table. He has unfortunately had three bad injuries since joining Spurs full-time in 2017, but every time he has returned stronger from those injuries, and he has slotted back into the Spurs Under 21 side as if he was never away in the first place. 

Watching those recent Premier League 2 games against West Ham, Liverpool and Arsenal, I thought that Brooklyn was the best player on the pitch in all three of those games. Such was his excellent reading of the game, the intensity that he has played the game at in central defence, and also his all-round defending and decision making. He was leading by example in the recent 2-0 win over Arsenal, and I noticed, although I don’t recall him making a sliding challenge, he read that match and anticipated what the Arsenal forwards were going to do with the ball, with such ease and style. Japhet Tanganga made his senior competitive debut for the Spurs first team fairly late in his development, and I would love to see 22 year old Brooklyn Lyons-Foster also get his chance at the top level for his boyhood club, at some stage in the near future. I have no doubts whatsoever, that he would step up and perform with real quality at the very highest level.

Looking at how former Spurs Academy player Rafferty Pedder is getting on, over a year since leaving Spurs to join QPR:

For a long while he was incredibly unlucky with injuries, during part of his time in the Spurs Academy set-up, prior to signing scholarship forms with the club in 2018. However, midfielder Rafferty Pedder showed great resilience after spending so long on the sidelines. He featured more times than any of his teammates for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2019/20, having made his competitive debut for Spurs at that level during the previous season. He would also feature on a good number of occasions for the then Spurs Under 23 side, over the next two seasons, before leaving the club to join West London club QPR, last January, on a permanent transfer. Having been at Spurs for so long, similar to Dilan Markanday, it would have been a very difficult decision for the Maidstone born footballer to leave the club. Rafferty is a versatile midfield player, who can play in central midfield, as a CAM or out wide on the flanks. A player who plays the game with a real desire to make the difference in matches, the 20 year old is a tremendous athlete, whose skill, determination and positivity on the ball, makes him a real joy to watch.

Rafferty is very good at linking the play, taking up good goalscoring positions, and at scoring and creating goals. He has in my opinion and from the games that I have seen him play for QPR’s B team, in the past year, really flourished. Doing well in matches that he played for the QPR B team in during the second half of last season. The former Spurs man scored two competitive goals for the B team last season, with both of them coming in a dramatic 3-2 win over Wigan Athletic, late on in that season. However, he has contributed far more than just his goals during his time at QPR so far, and the player who made his first team debut for them last pre-season in a friendly with Uxbridge, has already scored four goals for the QPR B team this season. And as I said, from the games that I have seen Rafferty involved in this season, it is his all-round play and ability to be decisive and always look to make that forward pass or take players on, which has made him really standout this season.

Rafferty also has an excellent low centre of gravity and a real amount of pace, and he never stops running. This season I have seen him have excellent games against the likes of Cardiff City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Colchester United’s Under 21 sides. That 2018/19 Spurs Academy intake were such a tremendously talented group of players, and Rafferty is just as good and has just as much potential as anyone in that group has, in my opinion. And I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him get a loan move at some point in 2023, or even feature for the QPR first team, as he has really impressed for the B team this season. On Friday night I will hopefully be watching Rafferty play for the QPR B team, as they take on AFC Bournemouth in an Under 21 Premier League Cup game.

Looking at how former Spurs Academy player Dilan Markanday is getting on, over a year since leaving the club:

Highly skilful and creative winger Dilan Markanday left Spurs just over one year ago. A very highly rated young Academy prospect, Dilan left Spurs not that long after making his sole first team appearance for them, in a UEFA Europa Conference League group-stage fixture with Vitesse Arnhem. He left to join Championship side Blackburn Rovers, on a three and a half year contract. For someone who has watched Dilan progress through the Academy ranks at Spurs during recent years, I was very sad to see Dilan leave Spurs, a club that obviously means a lot to the Barnet born professional footballer, and it is a club that he has supported for many years. The youngest of all his age group, since joining Spurs as a first year scholar in the summer of 2017, Dilan featured a lot for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2017/18, came on really well under the tutelage of then head-coach Matt Wells, the following season, before spending a number of seasons with the then Spurs Under 23 side. Always improving his game, Dilan bulked up physically, becoming stronger with and without the ball, around the time of the 2020/21 season. And towards the end of that season and going into the following 2021/22 season, he was unplayable for the Spurs Under 23 side, and he was without doubt their most important player, up until leaving the club.

The now 21 year old’s move to Blackburn Rovers would probably have surprised quite a few people, in particular Spurs supporters. With his pace (he has got quicker and quicker over the years), outstanding dribbling ability, agility and creative ability on the ball, as well as a real understanding of the game, Markanday’s talents would long have attracted the interest off of other top clubs. His decision to join Blackburn Rovers however, cannot have been an easy one for the former Spurs man. Soon after joining them, Dilan made his competitive debut for Blackburn, as a substitute in a Championship fixture with Hull City. In that game he picked up a serious hamstring injury which kept him out for most of the second half of the 2021/22 season. He returned for former manager Tony Mowbray’s side in the final game of that season, in a league fixture against Birmingham City. It would have obviously been a long journey to recovery and full match sharpness for Dilan, and after featuring for the Blackburn Rovers first team again, quite a lot last pre-season, Dilan has had to be patient for his chances with the first team.

From four Carabao Cup appearances for the Lancashire club this season, Dilan has scored two goals for the first team, making a really positive impression in those games, as well as a real desire to work hard for the team. In addition to his appearances in that competition, he has made one appearance for Blackburn in the FA Cup, in a 1-0 third round win away to Norwich City. And he played his own important part in the build-up to forward Jack Vale’s goal in that game. One appearance in the Championship this season, as a substitute in a fixture with Rotherham, which Blackburn disappointing lost 4-0, saw Dilan come away from that game receiving praise from fans for his performance. The former Spurs player has also featured for the Blackburn Rovers Under 21 side, and has unsurprisingly excelled for them at that level. Getting injured at such an important and early stage in his time at his new club, must have been very difficult. But from the games that he has played for the Blackburn first team this season, he has shown that wonderful determination, and desire to always be positive and creative on the ball, as well as working so hard off it. 

A player who I very much believe can not only play at the highest level, but also excel at the highest level in the future. Dilan Markanday is a real prospect in the game, and having followed Blackburn’s games very closely this season, I reckon that as they look to earn a play-off spot during the second part of the season, that Dilan will play, hopefully a big and prominent part in helping Blackburn in their quest to achieve that goal. Dilan is more than capable of making a real difference on the pitch, during a long second half of the footballing season, in England’s second tier.

Where are they now? Looking at where the former Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of 2021/22, are now:

An article that I write around this time every season, where I follow the progress of the former Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of their contracts at the end of the previous season. In the following piece I will be writing a short update on where those former Spurs Academy players are, who left the club at the end of the 2021/22 season. As always, I wish those former Spurs Academy players all the very best of luck for the future.

Josh Oluwayemi: The 21 year old goalkeeper joined League One side Portsmouth, in the summer, after leaving Spurs in June. A Spurs Academy player for many years, Josh was a regular starter for the Spurs Under 18 side and Under 21 side, during his time at the club. Since joining Portsmouth, Josh has so far made five senior competitive appearances for their first team (all in the Papa Johns Trophy). And as the second choice goalkeeper for Portsmouth this season, Josh has featured many times on the bench for Danny Cowley’s side. Josh has kept three clean-sheets from five appearances for Portsmouth this season, and it would be great to see him start for them against Spurs, in their third round FA Cup tie at Spurs, next month.

Thimothée Lo-Tutala: France youth international and goalkeeper Thimothée Lo-Tutala signed for Championship side Hull City in the summer, after leaving Spurs in June, after his contract had come to an end. Thimothée hasn’t featured for the Hull City first team yet, but he has featured on the bench for them on two occasions. He has however, featured for their Under 21 side on occasions, and the Paris born goalkeeper was called-up to the France Under 21 side for the first time, earlier this season.

Kapcer Kurylowicz: A former Poland youth international, 21 year old goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz is a goalkeeper, who like Josh and Thimothée, I think very highly of. Having featured for the Spurs Under 18 and 21 sides in the past during his time at Spurs, Kacper spent some time out on loan with non-League side Potters Bar Town, towards the end of last season. Kacper left Spurs at the end of his contract, after that 2021/22 season had come to an end. He was on trial with West Ham United’s Under 21 side during the start of the 2022/23 season, and he even featured on the bench for their Under 21 side in a Premier League 2 game, at the beginning of the season. During the early stages of the season, Kacper signed for Yaxley FC. The club is based in Cambridgeshire, and they play their football in the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands. From researching Yaxley’s matches, I found out that the former Spurs man has started almost every game for Yaxley, since he signed for them.

Isak Solberg: A regular at youth level for Norway, goalkeeper Isak Solberg only featured for the Spurs Under 18 side on one occasion in competitive competition during his time at Spurs, but he did feature on the bench for their Under 21 side on occasions. A Spurs Academy player for three seasons, the player from Voss in Norway signed for Norwegian OBOS-ligaen (second tier of Norwegian football) Kongsvinger in September of this year, during their season. Isak made the bench for  Kongsvinger on a good number of occasions, but didn’t feature for their first team during that season. With that season now officially ended, I was unable to find out whether the 19 year old goalkeeper will still be with them for the 2023 season.

Tobi Omole: Joining Spurs’ Academy set-up in 2020, as an experienced Academy player from his time at Arsenal. 23 year old central defender Tobi Omole spent two seasons with Spurs’ Under 21 side, in which time he became an important player for the side. Tobi left Spurs at the end of the 2021/22 season, and soon after he would join League Two side Crawley Town. Tobi featured for Crawley Town on five occasions early on in the 2022/23 season, before unfortunately picking up an injury in August. He has yet to return from that injury to play again for Crawley Town, since August.

Dermi Lusala: A highly skilful full-back with good balance to his game, an injury halted Dermi Lusala’s progress at Spurs, during his second season of scholarship with the club. After playing some games for the Spurs Under 21 side last season, Dermi left Spurs at the end of that 2021/22 season. He joined Championship side Coventry City in July of this year, and the 19 year old has featured for the Coventry Under 21 side this season. And earlier this month Dermi joined non-League side Barwell Town on a one month loan.

Jordan Hackett: A former England Under 18 international, left-back Jordan Hackett joined the Newcastle United Academy set-up in July of this year, after leaving Spurs at the end of his contract in June. Jordan has so far featured on eight occasions for the Newcastle United Under 21 side in the Premier League 2 Division Two, a league that they currently sit in sixth place in, going into 2023.

Jez Davies: Skilful and tenacious midfielder Jez Davies was previously with the Leyton Orient Academy set-up, before joining Spurs’ Academy. The 18 year old signed scholarship forms with Spurs in the summer of 2020, and would feature mainly for their Under 18 side, during his time at the club. After leaving Spurs this summer, he played some matches for Chelsea’s Under 21 in pre-season, before spending some time without a club. However, he very recently joined Burnley’s Academy set-up.

Oliver Turner: Creative and hardworking midfielder Oliver Turner featured for the Spurs Under 18 side on one occasion, during his two years of scholarship with their Academy. I recently read that Oliver had joined Aldershot Town’s Academy set-up after leaving Spurs in the summer, but unfortunately I’ve been unable to confirm whether he is still playing for them at Academy level.

Renaldo Torraj: Highly creative winger and Albania youth international Renaldo Torraj, like Jez Davies, featured for Chelsea’s Under 21 side in pre-season, but wouldn’t end up signing for them on a permanent basis, after leaving Spurs in the summer. However, Renaldo signed for Burnley’s Academy in October of this year. He has been with their Under 21 side, and he will be a teammate once again of Jez Davies in the new year.

Khalon Haysman: Former England youth international Khalon Haysman, is a central midfielder who during his time at Spurs, at Under 18 level, liked to get forward to support the forward players. One of the Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of last season, the 18 year old featured for one of Bolton Wanderers’ Academy sides in November of this year. However, I have been unable to find out if he has actually signed for the League One club.

J’Neil Bennett: A skilful and unpredictable winger, 21 year old professional footballer J’Neil Bennett was at Spurs for a number of years as an Academy player, after joining them from QPR. The scorer of the first ever goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, J’Neil joined Brentford B in late November, after leaving Spurs at the end of last season. Paris Maghoma was another former Spurs Academy player who has represented both Spurs at Academy level and also Brentford’s B team in recent seasons.