Lost in the nostalgia for Mauricio Pochettino’s potential return to Tottenham Hotspur and the departure of Danny Rose on a free transfer is this — Tottenham also announced the departure of 11 youth players and recent academy graduates from the club today. And there are a few names in there that you will recognize.
Danny Rose and Paulo Gazzaniga have left Spurs as their contracts expire. Enock Asante, Chay Cooper, Keenan Ferguson, George Marsh, Rodel Richards, Jack Roles, Aaron Skinner, Kazaiah Sterling and Shilow Tracey leave U23s and U18 players Eddie Carrington and Tarrelle Whittaker.— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) May 27, 2021
The most surprising names on that list are without a doubt George Marsh and Jack Roles. Marsh is a 22-year old holding midfielder who made his first team debut in a 7-0 thrashing of Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup in January 2019. He also made a few appearances in 2019-20 in Spurs’ FA Cup run and even made a few Premier League benches, but seemed pretty far away from cracking the first team.
Roles had a breakout season a couple years ago on loan at Cambridge United, scoring five goals in 1100 minutes in League Two and becoming a fan favorite at Cambridge, but was unable to make an impact this seasons with two loans at Burton Albion and Stevenage. He played just 212 minutes of football this season. We at Carty Free however will miss Jack for the memes and for all of his various roles.
Elsewhere, the other recognizable names are Kazaiah Sterling and Shilow Tracey. Tracey was purchased from Ebbsfleet United’s U18 squad in 2016 but never really put anything together despite numerous loans, while Kazaiah Sterling had some moderate buzz as a youngster in Tottenham’s academy but at 22 years old it’s now time for him to move on as well.
Youth development is a crap shoot. Players who you think are going to do well sometimes don’t, and other times players come out of nowhere (like Harry Kane) to become world beaters. That doesn’t mean that these players are failures — many of them will go on to have solid professional football careers in the lower leagues, while others may develop into outstanding top level players at other clubs. Others may leave football entirely.
We wish Jack, George, Kazaiah, Shilow, and all of the released players the best and hope they go on to do great things.