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Tottenham set to sign 17-year old Charlie Sayers from Southend

The left back has been on trial at Spurs for a couple of weeks.

Southend United v Rotherham United - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

One of the things that Tottenham has done well in recent years is refresh the academy every so often with talented young players from other clubs. It looks like they’ll be adding another good player here shortly. According to the Basildon Canvey Southend Echo (henceforth referred to as the BCSE), Spurs are on the verge of signing 17-year old left back Charlie Sayers from National League side Southend United.

Sayers obviously isn’t a household name, but he has six appearances (including four starts) for Southend this season, and has spent the past couple of weeks on trial at Spurs. He’s a former captain for Southend’s youth academy side, and even captained Tottenham’s U18s in a recent match this week.

That’s obviously a good sign, as is this (short) report from the BCSE — it’s not at all uncommon for regional papers to have the scoop on lower- or non-league team news well before the national papers do. Southend manager Phil Brown (remember him from his Hull City days?) also tipped Sayers to have a bright future in quotes given earlier in the season.

“I think Charlie Sayers has been outstanding and you have to say he has a career ahead of him, there’s no doubt about it. He’s got two games under his belt now but is he going to make mistakes as a 17-year-old boy? Absolutely. But on Tuesday he had a team on Tuesday that was protecting him.

“Charlie has set a great example of what this club has been about for the last 10 years and that’s decent young players. I’ve not always had the benefit of that because we’ve always sold them on but where Charlie is concerned his dad looks after him which is a great shout.

“He hasn’t got an agent which is also a great shout so all he’s got is the manager’s voice in his ear and hopefully he’s here for a long time.”

Sorry about that, Phil!

Player development is a crapshoot, of course. There’s obviously no guarantee that Sayers will turn into Tottenham’s next homegrown left back ever, much less anytime soon. Still, this is what good academies do — they look for quality young talent from the lower leagues and hoover them up on the chance they are able to make The Leap. Sayers looks like a catch, from both ability and leadership perspectives and I will be interested in learning about what he can do going forward (assuming he signs).

Update (Tuesday): He’s signed!