Tottenham Hotspur open their Carabao (née League) Cup account tomorrow evening against Championship side Barnsley at Wembley Stadium, but despite his promise, academy graduate and highly rated attacking midfield prospect Marcus Edwards will not feature for Spurs.
Mauricio Pochettino said in a pre-match press conference today that Edwards, who is reportedly still not at 100% after a serious ankle injury last season, will stay with Spurs’ U23s for now.
“Last season was difficult for [Edwards]. Remember he was injured and then he had an operation and I think it was a tough season for him. He dropped a little bit but it’s normal after nearly one season that he didn’t play. Now he’s building his confidence again. We’re so happy because he played very well against Manchester United and then in the Youth Cup he was very good.
“But I think we need to wait a little bit for him to build more his physical condition and his confidence. He’s better playing in the Under-23s or the Youth Cup than staying with us, maybe on the bench. I think it’s a situation we have under control and we are looking after him to try to again have the facility to be involved with the first team. But it’s step by step.”
That’s disappointing for all of us who remember his debut against Gillingham in this same competition last season. But Pochettino’s description of his injury makes a little more sense. To my knowledge this is the first time that the club has stated that Edwards had surgery on his injured ankle last year, but that would explain his long absence and why he has been treated with kid gloves early on this season. It might also explain his off-the-bench role with England’s U19s in this summer’s Euros.
Pochettino seemed to indicate that there would be some rotation in the starting lineup tomorrow, but possibly not as much as some fans might hope. It seems very likely that Kyle Walker-Peters will get a match under his belt at right back against Barnsley, and Poch hinted at roles for Fernando Llorente and Tashan Oakley-Boothe. Georges-Kevin N’Koudou and Harry Winks are also available for selection.
“Tomorrow, first of all, we want to win. But it’s is a good possibility for some players to play. Because we believe in everyone.
For you have the Premier League, Champions League, to select one player or another. I think it’s a good chance for players to play against Barnsley. Maybe I will surprise with my team selection.”
Victor Wanyama, Erik Lamela, and Danny Rose are still out.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 3:00 p.m. ET (8 pm BST) at Wembley Stadium, but as of this writing the match will NOT be televised, either in the UK or elsewhere. We’ll update you if anything changes, but for now get those radio feeds ready.