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Spurs to sign 18-year old defender Ashley Phillips from Blackburn

No, this is NOT the first team CB we’re still waiting for.

England v Iceland - UEFA U19 European Championship Elite Qualifying Round Photo by Matt McNulty - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Tottenham Hotspur are in negotiations with a new central defender and are expected to complete the deal shortly. But it’s not Edmond Tapsoba or Micky van de Ven — this signing is 18-year old highly rated Blackburn Rovers CB Ashley Phillips.

Phillips is definitely one for the future. He’s a talented young English central defender who has been capped as an England international all the way up to the U19 level. He’s a player that Spurs have been looking at for two years now — Tottenham weren’t the only team looking at him but Spurs decided now was the right time to make the move.

Phillips broke through into Blackburn’s first team this past season, tallying around 500 minutes in the Championship as a teenager. That’s real good! The only real contribution I have about Phillips based on the comp videos I’ve watched is this — he’s really stonkin’ tall, 6’4”, and looks massive on the pitch compared to his peers.

It’s interesting that he’s going to be flying out to join Spurs in Thailand, but I’d almost certainly expect that he’s going to slot immediately into the U21s, where he should be an imposing presence, or head back out on loan to the Championship. But don’t think that he’s going to be the guy Spurs sign as first team central defense reinforcements — they’re still reportedly working hard on the Tapsoba and van de Ven transfers.

I’m perfectly fine with Tottenham making these kinds of transfers in addition to direct first team reinforcements. Phillips looks like a real talent, and you want to have those kinds of young guys hanging around the fringes of the first team ready to take their shot when their moment comes. That’s the sign of a smart club and shows that Spurs’ recruitment team can walk and chew gum at the same time.