Tottenham Hotspur is trying to lock down the latest potential star to come out of its academy. Second year academy striker Reo Griffiths, 18, has exploded this season while playing for Spurs’ U18 squad, scoring 34 goals thus far, including four in a 9-0 dismantling of Arsenal’s U18s last week.
It’s been enough to turn some heads among observers in the youth leagues and elsewhere. Back in February, news leaked that Spurs’ former head of player development Paul Mitchell, now working for RB Leipzig, was interested in bringing Griffiths to Germany. There have also been murmurs that Reo was ready to roll with the changes and has been stalling on signing his first professional contract, possibly due to this and interest from other clubs.
But ESPN is reporting now that Tottenham see the potential in Griffiths and is ready to open negotiations with Reo to keep him at Spurs for the next few seasons. That’s pretty important.
If you recall, Spurs were very close to poaching Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon last summer before he signed his first professional deal. Had Spurs been able to convince Sessegnon to sign, the club would’ve still had to pay some money for him, but it would’ve been for a ridiculously low developmental compensation fee. By signing Sessegnon to a pro contract, Fulham not only kept ahold of their prized player but also ensured that if and when they do sell it would be for a staggering transfer fee.
That’s sort of what’s going on here with Reo Griffiths. While nobody’s saying that Reo is anywhere near as talented as Sessegnon, 34 goals against players his age is pretty spectacular and I can’t fight this feeling that he could end up being pretty darn good. Spurs clearly think highly of him and need to keep pushin’ to keep ahold of him rather than have him take it on the run to Germany for a pittance. It doesn’t mean that Griffiths is going to turn into the next Harry Kane — youth development is hard! — but Reo is the kind of talented academy player that Spurs should definitely plan to keep around. It’s time for him to fly, and Tottenham is a place where fans can keep on loving him.