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DONE DEAL: Tottenham’s Ashley Phillips moves to Plymouth Argyle on loan

Hopefully he gets a run of first team games.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur signed Ashley Phillips this summer as a central defender with promise for the future. That future will come next season at the earliest. Tottenham announced on social media that Phillips, who has yet to make his first team debut for Spurs since joining the club from Blackburn Rovers, will be joining Championship side Plymouth Argyle on loan for the remainder of the season.

This tells me a few things. One, Ash Phillips is 100% not ready for first team action at Tottenham Hotspur quite yet. Spurs are in the midst of an acute defensive crisis at that position, and have been at some time, yet Ange Postecoglou has preferred Ben Davies and Emerson Royal at that position ahead of Phillips, and despite naming him to the bench on several occasions, Ash has yet to see the pitch. (It should be noted that he did have an injury earlier in the season.) This isn’t a knock on young Ash — it’s just he’s a young player whom Ange clearly doesn’t think is ready. That doesn’t mean he won’t come good in the future and a loan to a Championship side suggests exactly that.

Second, it tells me that Spurs are going to sign a central defender in this window. Even though Phillips hasn’t seen any match action, he’s still the break-glass-in-case-of-even-more-catastrophic-injuries option and it seems a little foolish to thin out your emergency options even more, even if the club sells Eric Dier in the same window. We know that Spurs are targeting Radu Dragusin in this window (more on that later), so if Ash is being loaned out it suggests that SOMEBODY’s going to come in.

Landing a Championship loan as an 18 year old central defender is actually a pretty good sign that Phillips is highly regarded and not that far away from being a contributor. But he’s not yet, and that’s okay. Plymouth are a side that are closer to the relegation zone in the Championship than they are to promotion so maybe that means Phillips can get some quality minutes this spring. Would be nice to have him do some development and come back closer to being a reserve CB for Spurs next season.

Good luck, Ash!