Alex Pritchard is having a heck of a season on loan at Championship side Brentford. Spurs' young attacking midfielder is tearing through Championship defenses and is a regular starter for Brentford boss (and confessed Spurs fan) Mark Warburton. And according to the Mail, Pritchard has done enough to earn a chance for playing time with the Tottenham first team next season.
As we know, Mauricio Pochettino is known for giving promising youth players a chance, especially in the preseason. It's how Spurs ended up with Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb, and Harry Kane as regular league starters. Pritchard, 21, has been one of the gems of the academy in recent years, and has parlayed that talent into a string of successful loans at Peterborough, Swindon, and now Brentford.
This season has been Pritchard's breakthrough season: he's scored eight times in 35 appearances for the Bees and has been impressive enough to earn places on the Football League Team of the Week twice this season. He was also nominated for the Young Player of the Year award at the 2015 London Football Awards (an award he lost to Harry Kane).
Brentford is currently in the mix for a Championship playoff spot, and it's in no small part to Pritchard's contributions on the pitch. Warburton has been effusive in his praise for Pritchard in recent weeks, calling him "nailed-on Premier League":
"He can dominate a football. Alex is at his best with the ball at his feet. He sees a pass. He's the best player I've seen in this division, certainly, to receive the ball on the half-turn at pace.
Left or right side, he has the ability to take it on the half-turn and for us, how we play, that hurts the opposition. Technically he's outstanding. For me, Pritch is nailed on Premier League.
I'd never be disrespectful enough to speak about what Spurs should do or could do with him. But in my opinion - and I'm a Spurs fan, by the way - I think he is more than good enough to go and positively impact their playing squad."
Will he be the next Tottenham star to come out of the Spurs academy? Who knows. The Mail article certainly doesn't provide any quotes or any indication that Pochettino has grand plans for him (which makes it a typical Mail article). But after the season he's had for Brentford, Pritchard has certainly shown that he's ready to take the next step in his career. Spurs would be foolish not to give him a chance to show Pochettino what he can do. It's certainly believable that Pritchard will get his shot next year... he's earned it.