Speaking to the media ahead of today’s clash with Gillingham in the EFL Cup, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said what we’ve been saying for years here at Cartilage Free Captain: Marcus Edwards is Afro Messi.
OK, fine, Poche didn’t say exactly that. Here’s what he did say:
The qualities - it’s only looks, his body and the way that he plays - remember (sic) a little bit from the beginning of Messi. He’s small, he’s left-footed, I remember a little bit Lamela when he was at River Plate... that he took the ball, didn’t give a pass and shot straight away.
Edwards is yet to make his competitive senior debut for Spurs, but that may change today against Gillingham. If his appearances in the pre-season are anything to go on, Poche’s description of Edwards is accurate. He’s clearly a wonderful talent, but is still fairly raw and sometimes tries to do too much with the ball.
But players can learn to be more disciplined, to read the game, and make good decisions. (See: Rose, Danny.) It’s much harder to give someone who doesn’t have it the sort of intuitive feel for the ball and technique that Edwards has shown as an academy prospect. There are lots of reasons to be interested in today’s match, but the potential for Edwards making his debut may be near the top of the list.