Coming into this season, Tottenham fans were hoping that this was the year we’d finally get a good look at Marcus Edwards in the first team. Sadly, that hasn’t happened. After making his first team debut last season in the League Cup match against Gillingham, Mauricio Pochettino mentioned the 19-year old Edwards as being a potential superstar, even comparing his skillset to Lionel Messi.
However, this season Poch has been super careful and deliberate with Edwards, to the extent that we haven’t seen him even sniff the first team, which has led to rumors about everything from his development stalling to a personality conflict. Now, according to the Guardian, Edwards is set to go out on loan to a Championship club for the rest of the season, with the deal expected to go through in the next few days.
Edwards has been tapped for greatness since he was a very young teenager, and naturally we’ve been following his career with great interest. He spent the bulk of last season out injured, which no doubt hindered his development somewhat. He was just barely back to fitness this summer when he was a substitute member of the England squad that won the U19 Euros, and looked good in his appearances.
However, according to Guillem Balague’s book “Brave New World,” Poch also noted that Edwards has “authority and behavioral problems” (not uncommon in teenage players) and wondered if he did Marcus a disservice by making the Messi comparison.
Before this season, a loan might have been viewed as the kiss of death for Edwards’ first team hopes. Poch was well known for wanting to keep his favored prospects close to home to learn his system and increase their fitness. That seems to have changed this season, with Cameron Carter-Vickers and Josh Onomah both heading out to the Championship in the summer, and both reportedly still in Pochettino’s plans. Edwards seems to be the next, and David Hytner says exactly that:
Pochettino has come to accept that Edwards is at a stage of his development where he needs to experience regular senior football and he considers a loan to the Championship as the ideal short-term solution.
— David Hytner, The Guardian
So where might Edwards thrive for a few months? Hytner doesn’t mention what clubs might be interested in taking Edwards, and I don’t really watch a whole lot of Championship football. So I reached out on Twitter to see.
Leeds, but he'd benefit a team like Forest greatly.— 7500 To Holte (@7500toHolte) January 15, 2018
Leeds is an interesting one. From what I can gather, Leeds has a lot of attacking midfielders, but aren’t especially creative at that position. They’re a club that is also on the cusp of a promotion place and are desperate to get back to the Premier League for the first time since 2004.
Forest, of course, just knocked off Arsenal in the FA Cup but are mired mid-table in the Championship after flirting with promotion the past few seasons. They’re also managed by Mark Warburton, whom you might remember from his years at Brentford — he took former Spurs player and academy product Alex Pritchard and rode him to the brink of promotion to the Premier League. Warburton also recently said that he would welcome a little extra firepower in the attacking third, and Edwards could be a very interesting addition to his Forest side. [Edit: Warburton was apparently sacked on New Year’s Eve and replaced at Forest with former Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka. I told you I didn’t watch much Championship football.]
And speaking of Pritchard, Norwich just sold him to Huddersfield, leaving a hole in attacking midfield. They’re not close to the same kind of player, but bringing in one Tottenham academy product to replace another one might soften the blow.
But this might be my favorite possibility: Fulham.
Fulham, Sessegnon crossing from the left to Edwards on the right wing, nice practice for 2019/2020— shariff (@MrBarron91) January 15, 2018
We’ll find out more in the coming days whether this is a thing, and where Edwards might land on loan for the rest of the season. Wherever he lands, like Onomah at Aston Villa, I’ll be probably setting my DVR for that team’s matches to see how he’s doing. And hopefully Edwards be able to take that experience and turn it into a meaningful future at Tottenham Hotspur.