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Tottenham apparently cut ties with highly rated Nigerian youth prospect

Yahaya was a highly rated Nigerian midfielder, but his time at Tottenham was deeply strange. Now he’s apparently landed at Porto.

20th Commonwealth Games - Opening Ceremony Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Musa Yahaya has been a mysterious figure in the Tottenham Hotspur youth development ranks since word emerged that we had signed the Nigerian “new Iniesta” back in 2014. Yahaya, now 19, was reportedly the next big thing to come out of Nigeria after tearing it up at a youth tournament a few years back. The last time we wrote about him at Cartilage Free Captain, it was because he had apparently gone AWOL from his Nigerian U23 training camp.

Nobody ever seemed to confirm whether or not Spurs had actually signed him, though there were reports that he was training with the Spurs academy sides at some point in time. More than a year has gone by since we’ve heard anything about him.

Yahaya’s name just showed up on a Nigerian soccer blog which suggests that Spurs did indeed buy him for £350k back in 2014, but sold him to Portuguese second division side Portimonense for £250k in early 2016. Portimonense has now reportedly sold him to FC Porto, where he is now a part of Porto’s B team.

Own Goal Nigeria is reporting that Spurs were forced to sell him quickly after reports of his Spurs contract had leaked onto social media, which violated a confidentiality agreement. Strangely (and everything surrounding Yahaya has been strange) the only mention of Tottenham on Yahaya’s Transfermarkt page is a youth loan from Yahaya’s Nigerian academy in 2012.

What do we make of this? Who knows. With youth development being the crap-shoot that it is, there’s no way to know whether Spurs gave up on a potential superstar talent, or if his situation was more trouble than it was worth. It’s very likely there was a whole lot of other crap going on as well — Nigerian football isn’t exactly known for its transparency and honesty, and it’s very likely that the player got swept up in a situation that was completely out of his control.

The end result is that Yahaya is no longer a Spurs player, and I for one am no longer all that interested in digging to further unearth this particular mystery. The issue appears to be closed, and I hope he has a successful career, either at Porto or elsewhere.