The Marcus Edwards era at Tottenham Hotspur is over. After a couple of tumultuous seasons at Spurs in which the academy product never seemed to get out of his own way and fulfill his prodigious promise, “Mini-Messi” was finally offloaded on the final day of the European transfer window.
However, while previous reports had suggested that he was set for a move to Udinese in Serie A, instead his new destination club was in Portugal — with Liga Nos side Vitoria. Financial details of the transfer were not disclosed.
We have reached agreement with Portuguese side Vitória for the transfer of Marcus Edwards.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 2, 2019
We wish Marcus all the best for the future. pic.twitter.com/muHPC2uW9R
We’ve talked about Edwards quite a bit on this website over the years, and he’s been a (exciting) part of the Carty Free zeitgeist since he was a young teenager. But while it seemed natural that he’d eventually take the Premier League by storm it just never seemed to work out due to a combination of high expectations and perceived attitude and work rate issues. Mauricio Pochettino was the one who first compared him to Lionel Messi, but he also walked that back in his book, saying that he had “authority and behavioral problems.”
That perception wasn’t helped when he had a disastrous loan at Norwich City, then in the Championship, two seasons ago. Last year he was sent off on loan to a terrible Dutch club in Excelsior, where he did quite well, and that experience has apparently helped get him to Vitoria.
It’s worth nothing that Vitoria isn’t a bad club — they finished 5th in the Portuguese league last season, and qualified for the Europa League. Hilariously, last week’s draw saw them drawn into the same Europa League group as Arsenal, meaning Edwards still has a chance to, obliquely, fulfill his promise as a Tottenham legend this season.
I’m sad it never worked out for Edwards at Spurs. I’m sad it never worked out for him in England. I’m hoping he can end up with a career that mirrors John Bostock — a former Tottenham star-in-waiting once considered one of the brightest and best young players in England and who never panned out, but who was able to have a successful football career nonetheless. (Bostock is currently playing for Nottingham Forest in the Championship and is somehow still only 27 years old.)
So best wishes, Mini-Messi. I wish you nothing but the very best and will continue to track your career closely.
After 14 years at @SpursOfficial it's the right time for me to start the next phase of my career. Thank you to everyone who's helped me get this far, the learning process never stops and I'm excited to continue at @VitoriaSC1922 pic.twitter.com/WgM70RaYHk— Marcus Edwards (@marcusedwards__) September 2, 2019
Update: Reporting is a bet sketchy on this, but Sport Witness is quoting the local Portuguese media in suggesting that Tottenham have a staggering 50% sell-on clause in Edwards’ contract. That’s... a lot!