Tottenham reportedly beat Barca to signing of wonderkid Musa Yahaya

Michael Regan

'The new Andres Iniesta' is set to be plying his trade in Spurs colours from this summer onwards.

We got one! Well, nearly. The Metro is reporting this morning that Tottenham have successfully fended off a late intervention from the Barcelona negotiating team to sign 16 year-old Nigerian prodigy Musa Yahaya, an attacking midfielder notable for dominating the most recent U-17 World Cup.

The teenager is apparently set to sign a five-year contract with Spurs pending the completion of a medical this week. He will subsequently remain with his current club, Mutunchy Academy, for another year until he becomes eligible for a UK work permit.

My reaction to this story is one of tempered enthusiasm. Obviously, it's always fantastic when Tottenham are able to stick a nose out in front of big fish rivals for any signings, and focusing on creating a strong homegrown base within the first team by filling out our developmental team with kids globally lauded for their technical ability is a long-term strategy I wholeheartedly support.

I do think it pays to bear in mind, however, that judging player potential amongst individuals in the under-18 bracket is almost universally a total crapshoot. We all remember how Souleymane Coulibaly absolutely tore it up at the same U-17 tournament in which Yahaya made his name back in 2011 before joining the Tottenham books, and his development has slowly but surely simmered down since then. There's simply no way of judging at this stage who will cut it for the seniors years and years down the line.

Whether Yahaya comes as good as it may seem he can or not, however, we should all be very pleased that Levy is showing no sign of deviating from his policy of cheaply sourcing and growing our own prospects. It bodes especially well if our next manager is indeed to be, say, a Pochettino or Frank de Boer-type.

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