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Has the crown jewel of Tottenham Hotspur’s academy committed his future to Spurs?

17-year old midfielder Marcus Edwards has signed a new contract at Tottenham, according to reports on social media.

Tottenham Hotspur v Middlesbrough - The FA Youth Cup Fourth Round
Tottenham Hotspur’s Marcus Edwards
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

You may not have heard of Marcus Edwards yet, but if all goes according to plan at Tottenham Hotspur, you will soon. Edwards is a versatile and vastly talented attacking midfielder. He’s considered the crown jewel of Tottenham’s resurgent youth program, and if early reports are true, he may have just signed his first professional contract with the club.

The twitter account @thfcacademy, which along with blogger Windy has been closely monitoring the Tottenham youth system, tweeted on Monday that Edwards has signed a new deal that will keep him in North London for another two season.

The contract, if initial reports are to be believed, is also said to include a spot on Tottenham’s first team as well as first team minutes. Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t give out first team numbers to players that are undeserving, so this is both unusual and a testament to Edwards’ ability.

We’ve talked about Marcus Edwards a fair amount on this site over the past year or so. We ranked him #5 on our list of Tottenham Hotspur Prospect Rankings last summer – and truthfully, we probably underrated him. Ben Daniels called him “Messi with an Afro.” He’s been at Spurs since he was a schoolboy, and was fixture in England’s youth setup at nearly every level; last season he scored four goals in three games for England’s U18s. Not a lot of people have seen him play, but those that have done so say he’s one of the best prospects in his age group in England, with the skills and talent to be a bonafide Premier League star. All he needs is time and opportunity.

Here’s a highlight video of Edwards from last season. You can clearly see his technical skills on display as well as his ability to find and utilize space.

Whether or not he plays any kind of role with Tottenham’s first team this coming season or not, just keeping ahold of Edwards should be considered a victory. The Guardian wrote back in March that Edwards was in a contract dispute with Spurs and was refusing to sign a new deal in order to keep his options open.

Tottenham doesn’t always announce when it signs young players to new contracts, or even when it signs young players at all, so we might not get confirmation that this deal has actually happened. However, the club usually does state when it sells a youth player, and we haven’t heard anything to contradict the report from @thfcacademy yet. No news is good news. If Spurs really have locked down Messi with an Afro, that’s fantastic news for the club, and may prove to be one of the more important long-term signings of this window.