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Pochettino to include two academy players in match-day roster against Leicester City

Get ready to see some kids, at least on the bench!

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League 2
This is Samuel Shashoua. You may not have heard of him. You probably will soon.
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur have a match today against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. It is the definition of a “dead rubber” match. Spurs are locked into second place and the only thing they can really do here is pad their statistics, so this is an excellent opportunity to maybe give some chances to a few younger members of the squad.

That appears to be exactly what Mauricio Pochettino is doing. The Evening Standard is reporting that academy players Filip Lesniak and Samuel Shashoua will be part of Spurs’ match-day 18 as they take on the (former) champions of England.

Lesniak is a 21-year old Slovakian midfielder who joined Tottenham’s academy in 2012. He’s primarily a holding midfielder, but can also play attacking mid. He spent the entire year out on loan with Liberec in the Czech Republic, but has apparently returned to the club in time to be registered for Premier League action.

Shashoua (spoilers for this summer’s Tottenham Hotspur Prospect Ratings) is one of the most exciting young players in Spurs’ academy. Just 18, he’s a diminutive attacking midfielder who is primarily played on the wings. He has bags of talent and features in Spurs’ U23 squad in Premier League 2 matches. He’s small and probably needs to bulk up a la Harry Winks in order to make an impact in the Premier League, but he’s got a pretty impressive collection of skill moves and his passing is very good for his age.

The Standard says that both of these inclusions are made due to injury, and specifically notes that both Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier are not making the trip to the King Power. However, since neither Shashoua nor Lesniak play wingback it seems likely that this is more of an opportunity to throw a couple of promising youth players into the fire and see what happens.

This would normally be a game where we might see players like Cameron Carter-Vickers, Josh Onomah, or Kyle Walker-Peters, but all three are with their respective national teams preparing for the U20 World Cup. The Standard also notes that a few other players recently returned from loan such as Luke Amos (Southend United) and Shayon Harrison (Yeovil Town) couldn’t get registered in time for today’s game. We have heard nothing about Marcus Edwards.

I don’t know if either Lesniak or Shashoua will actually play today, but it’s pretty neat that they’re going to be part of the squad.