Five talented Spurs youngsters who could make their first-team breakthrough in 2019/20 – opinion

As Tottenham Hotspur prepare for a busy summer of transfer activity, it is easy to forget that the club could also promote a number of young players to the first-team squad next season.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men finished fourth in the Premier League and reached the Champions League final in 2018/19.

They have been linked with Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele, Real Betis’ Giovani Lo Celso and Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon by the London Evening Standard, while there are a number of other mooted targets also doing the rounds.

But Pochettino has long prioritised the promotion of young players; Oliver Skipp, Harry Winks and Kyle Walker-Peters have all benefitted from that policy.

And Football FanCast has taken a look at the five players who could make the jump to first-team level next season.

George Marsh

Marsh was one of a number of youngsters who were included in the club’s squad for the Champions League final, sitting on the bench as Spurs lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.

The 20-year-old made his first-team debut in the 7-0 FA Cup thrashing of Tranmere Rovers and is a tidy, efficient defensive midfielder who has been a stalwart for the Under-23s.

He has made a total of 47 appearances for the team and is capable of playing in defensive midfield and in central defence, similar to England international Eric Dier.

Marsh was also included in the matchday squad for the encounter with Everton on the final day of the season and is seemingly on the precipice of making his breakthrough.

He could, of course, be sent out on loan but it appears more likely that he will follow in Skipp’s footsteps in the 2019/20 campaign and be more involved in the first-team.

Alfie Whiteman

With Michel Vorm leaving the club on a free transfer, promoting Whiteman to the first-team makes all the sense in the world for Spurs.

The 20-year-old is the most senior option in the youth teams to come up to the senior ranks and is already deemed a capable deputy; he was on the bench for wins over Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town in the Premier League.

Whiteman has yet to make his first-team debut for the club but he is an England youth international, having played at every age group from Under-16 to Under-19.

He signed a two-year deal in 2018 and was another included in the Champions League final squad.

His breakthrough is surely imminent.

TJ Eyoma

Eyoma is a 19-year-old defender who offers the ability to play at both right-back and centre-back.

He made his first-team debut in the FA Cup win over Tranmere and was on the bench for the 1-0 win over Burnley in the Premier League in December.

Pochettino has given him a taste of first-team action, then, and he has oodles of experience; Eyoma has been capped from Under-16 to Under-19 level by England and has made 31 appearances in the Premier League 2.

The teenager was a member of the country’s Under-17 squad when they won the World Cup in 2017 and he is clearly a gifted defensive talent.

His versatility will surely appeal to Pochettino, too, should he be promoted to the first-team.

We have seen with Juan Foyth that age is no barrier to inclusion in the club’s defence so Eyoma can expect to be even more involved next season.

Tashan Oakley-Boothe

A versatile 19-year-old midfielder, Oakley-Boothe can play in a number of positions in midfield, capable of sitting at the base and behind the striker, such is his talent.

He also has the ability to play on the flanks and he made his first-team debut for the club in 2017, making a one-minute cameo against Barnsley in the EFL Cup.

Oakley-Boothe offers the ability to carry the ball forward at speed and he is also an accurate distributor of the ball, rarely giving up possession in the centre of the pitch.

He is another England youth international and he was last involved with the first-team in 2018, sitting on the bench as they drew 1-1 with Newport County in the FA Cup.

Expect him to feature more prominently in 2019/20, even if it is primarily from the substitutes’ bench.

Marcus Edwards

It remains to be seen if Edwards has the ability and the attitude to step up under Pochettino.

Likened to Lionel Messi by his manager before his debut for the first-team, in an EFL Cup clash with Gillingham, his progress has stalled.

His first-team bow came in the 2016/17 season and he has not made an appearance for the club since.

The 20-year-old spent the entirety of this campaign on loan with Excelsior in the Netherlands; they were relegated from the Eredivisie.

However, Edwards’ silky dribbling, incisive passing and eye for goal mark him out as a genuinely prodigious young player.

It may all be down to attitude. If he is willing to adapt and adjust under Pochettino, a place in the first-team surely awaits. If not, expect to see him leave this summer, permanently this time.

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