When Tottenham Hotspur’s young striker Dane Scarlett joined Ipswich on loan this summer, it was hailed as a massive opportunity for the youngster to go get some vital first team experience. But it hasn’t worked out that way. Far from being an important part of Ipswich’s attack in the Championship this season, Dane has been a bit player, coming off the bench in all 12 of his appearances, totaling just 158 minutes.
Now, according to quotes from Kieran McKenna, the Ipswich manager has stated that it looks likely that Scarlett will be recalled from his season-long loan with the Tractor Boys and return to Tottenham in January.
“There’s conversations with Tottenham at the moment. It looks very likely that he’ll be recalled at the start of January. Tottenham have injury issues at the moment and they have their main forward going to the Asian Cup.”
Ipswich are currently second in the Championship, six points behind Leicester City at Christmas, and have a real chance of securing automatic promotion to the Premier League for the first time since 2002. Maybe that’s why they’re relying on experienced forwards and not a 19-year old loanee from north London.
McKenna’s quotes make it sound like Spurs are recalling Scarlett because they’re looking for striker cover after Son heads off to the Asian Cup at the end of the month. That’s... maybe right? But I suspect it has more to do with Scarlett only playing 158 minutes of first team football in half a season on loan. I’m sure Spurs were hoping he’d establish himself as a Championship regular somewhere so he could really sink his teeth into football at this level. Coming off the bench for 10 minutes here or there just isn’t going to cut it.
I guess it’s possible that Dane could stick around Spurs for the spring as a break-glass-in-case-Richy’s-groin-goes-again, but Tottenham already have Alejo Veliz at the club for that purpose and are still mostly playing one match a week. Seems a waste. I’d guess that Dane will be sent back out on loan by the end of January, hopefully to a place where he can get more than the occasional sub appearance.