One of the most promising graduates of Tottenham Hotspur’s academy in recent years has returned to Tottenham early from his Championship loan. Norwich City and manager Daniel Farke announced yesterday on social media that Marcus Edwards has returned to Spurs from his half-season loan with the canaries for what was called “personal reasons.”
To be very clear up front, we don’t know the reason(s) why Edwards asked to have his loan terminated early, but it’s probably not difficult to guess. This season Edwards has been dogged by allegations that he has a poor attitude, perhaps one reason why he hasn’t really been given a crack with Tottenham up until now. Pochettino mentioned in Guillem Balague’s book Brave New World that Edwards had problems with authority, and that while Poch recognized the enormous talent in him wondered if he was wrong to call him “Mini Messi” in the press.
The loan to Norwich was supposed to be a stepping stone in Edwards’ development, but Canaries manager Farke dished out a lot of “tough love” during Marcus’ tenure at the club — he was very open about the fact that Marcus had a ways to go with his training and attitude to make it even at the Championship level. Edwards made just one appearance for Norwich -- a six minute appearance in a loss against Fulham on March 30, though he made the bench a couple of times. That’s not all his fault — he was apparently injured for a decent spell, but also wasn’t getting the match time that he thought he should be.
Chris Miller (Windy) added a little more context to the announcement on Twitter, implying that the Norwich loan was just a bad fit all around.
Not the best loan move; he was injured for most of it, then challenged by Farke (who may well be sacked soon) to improve the defensive side of his game. Farke wouldn't 'risk' Edwards... that word used again about a young player whilst plenty of senior pros were letting him down. https://t.co/ifjvCn7mBE— Chris Miller (@WindyCOYS) April 10, 2018
Bad loans aren’t uncommon, and it would be foolish to write off Edwards because of this — you only have to look at Harry Kane’s loan at Leicester to see that sometimes things just don’t work out. However, there are some warning signs here that shouldn’t be ignored. There seems to be some indication that there are attitude issues at play here (again, not unusual for young, supremely talented footballers) and despite all his promise Edwards has yet to receive any sort of regular first team football at any level. But again, it’s difficult to say at this point whether this situation is due to Edwards or Farke — most likely it’s a combination of the two, and it’s very unfortunate.
Edwards is only 19, so there’s still time for things to work themselves out. I have no idea what the future holds for Marcus, but hopefully he scan slot back into Tottenham’s U23 side and get some minutes before the end of the season. There’s no doubting his potential, and it might just be a matter of finding another loan for him at a place where he can thrive.