Rewind the clock a couple of years and you’ll find that there were two central defenders in Tottenham Hotspur’s academy that the club (and associated academy-watchers) were particularly excited about: Japhet Tanganga and Timothy Eyoma. And if you asked, most people said that Eyoma was in front.
Instead, it was Tanganga who made the leap, straight from the academy to the first team, and #TangGang looks to be an established member of Jose Mourinho’s plans going forward. TJ? Maybe not so much, at least not yet. However, there’s good news for him — he’s heading back out on loan for the year, and has signed a new three year contract.
If this looks a little familiar, it should — Eyoma spent the second half of the 2019-20 season on loan at Lincoln City and was there until Football League negated the seasons of everything below the Championship due to the coronavirus. It wasn’t what you’d call a great loan — TJ didn’t make it on the pitch at all for Lincoln before the shutdown, and the Imps finished in 16th place in League One.
But, I guess TJ made a bigger impression at that level than we previously thought, or perhaps he just had unfinished business there, because he’s heading back for another, full season.
Eyoma is a promising young footballer, and he needs minutes. You’d think he should be able to get them in a bottom half team in the third division of English football. It’s also possible that this is more about finding Eyoma’s level before an eventual sale, but his new contract seems to suggest that the club isn’t quite ready to cut bait on him yet. Loans are good. Loans for promising young players are even better. Let’s give Eyoma some time to see if he can fulfill his full potential.