We all love getting updates about players coming out of Tottenham’s academy. Academy prospects are all unbridled potential and they’re fun to think about. Also, every so often one or more of them break into the first team, like Andros Townsend, Ryan Mason, Harry Kane, or Harry Winks.
Today in the Standard, Dan Kilpatrick provided some updates on three of Spurs’ most promising academy grads: striker Reo Griffiths, winger Marcus Edwards, midfielder Oliver Skipp, and CB/DM Anton Walkes.
Griffiths had a monster year with Spurs’ U18s this past season, scoring over 30 goals, but he was strongly considering a move to the Bundesliga as he felt his path to the first team was blocked by Harry Kane. Now, it looks like he’s going to stay at Spurs, at least for the time being:
The teenage striker is concerned about his pathway into Spurs’ first-team, with Harry Kane ahead of him, but he is expected to agree a professional contract with the club, who want to see how he performs in the U23s before promising him an opportunity in the senior side.
— Dan Kilpatrick, Evening Standard
That’s great news. It’s hard to know with young strikers how much of performance is ability and how much is him just being physically more developed than his colleagues, but Reo has certainly made a huge leap this season. Harry Kane is certainly a roadblock but it’s not crazy to think that if Griffiths can establish himself in the U23s that he might get a chance in some cups next season, and could eventually work his way into the first team as Kane’s backup. That’s not a bad position to be in.
The situation is not nearly as clear for Marcus Edwards. “Mini-Messi,” considered one of the most talented youngsters of his generation, had an opportunity to prove himself in the Championship while on loan at Norwich, but a combination of injury and personal issues scuppered that loan -- he barely played for the Canaries and his loan was terminated early. Now, Kilpatrick suggests that his future will be determined this summer, but that there’s a chance that Edwards’ well-documented “authority issues” and suggestions of attitude problems might result in Spurs deciding to cut him loose or sell him.
Skipp, 17, has been impressing as a central midfielder in Spurs’ U18 squad, but the coaching staff has determined he needs more time in the developmental squad before he gets a chance with the first team. Walkes had a successful loan last season at Atlanta United in MLS and another even better loan this year at Portsmouth. He’s nowhere near the first team at Spurs, and Kilpatrick writes that he’s close to a deal to sign with Portsmouth permanently this summer.