Cartilage Free Captain is again reviewing and ranking the top 15 youth prospects at Tottenham Hotspur to see which players have the best potential to follow players like Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Andros Townsend, and Nabil Bentaleb into the Tottenham first team. The rules for inclusion are as follows:
- The player had to be 21 or under on January 1, 2015
- The player cannot have seen significant match time with Tottenham's first team
Next on our list is 16 year old attacking whiz-kid Marcus Edwards.
Who is he?
Marcus Edwards is Messi with an afro. He is without a doubt the most purely gifted kid in the Spurs academy. Having only turned 16 at the end of December, he has already been capped 18 times by England's U-17s where he's scored five goals. He featured in the recent UEFA U-17 Championship where he scored two game winners, including a spectacular golazo to beat Ireland to send England to their inevitable quarter-final defeat. He has already begun to feature with Spurs U-18 side, notably in the 4-1 demolition of Manchester City where he bagged three assists and had a late strike just miss off the post.
Like fellow academy grad Andros Townsend, his mother hails from Cyprus. But don't worry, the comparisons end there.
What can he do?
Seriously, Messi with an afro. Technically brilliant, he's primarily an attacking midfielder, but he can play wide or deeper as needed. Edwards is usually the shortest guy on the pitch, but like Messi he's strong with a low center of gravity. He has breathtaking close control and phenomenal dribbling ability, and manages to wriggle through defenders with the ball glued to his foot against all odds. But he's not just a dribble-machine. Edwards has wonderful vision and a good eye for a through ball, and he's comfortable dictating play and putting his teammates into dangerous scoring positions. Predominately left-footed, he is equally comfortable shooting and passing with his weaker right foot.
Don't believe me?
What'd I tell you. Even at 12 he looks like he could dominate grown men. Also that last goal in the video? That's the golazo I was talking about earlier. He scored it with his weak foot.
It recently came out that Barcelona's scouting department put together a list of youth players from around the world who could breakout as stars in the next decade. The only English player on the list? Yup. Messi with an afro.
Where can he go?
Hopefully not to Barcelona. That aforementioned scouting report and ITK rumors about him stalling over a professional contract at Spurs have the Twittersphere abuzz with talk that he could be on his way to Catalonia. So far there's no substance behind the gossip, and despite the rumors he can't actually sign a professional contract until he turns 17.
It would be a huge blow to Spurs if they lost this kid, so I reached out to Spurs youth blogger Windy who has assured me that he has signed a pre-contract with the club and is expected to sign a professional deal when he turns 17 in December. So hopefully we can forget all that talk about him leaving.
If he stays, expect him to feature regularly in the U-18s next season and don't be surprised if he starts getting minutes with the U-21 side. From there, the sky's the limit. If he develops as projected, Marcus Edwards is going to be an absolute star. He. Is. Breathtaking.
And he's only #5 on the list.