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Tottenham's Alex Pritchard set for Championship loan

This was supposed to be Pritch's breakout season, but instead he could be heading to the Championship to build up fitness.

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Alex Pritchard has been the forgotten man at Tottenham Hotspur after an injury-shortened season, and now it appears that he may be making a move in the transfer window. The Mirror is reporting that Tottenham are willing to let Pritch head out on loan to Championship clubs Burnley or Middlesbrough until the end of the season, and the midfielder will decide on Monday where he wants to go.

This wasn't the way the season was supposed to go for Pritchard. Admired by Mauricio Pochettino and the Tottenham coaching staff, Pritch was supposedly in Poche's plans this year and was expected to play an important role in the Spurs' first team. It was also rumored that he'd be the primary backup to Christian Eriksen in the forward attacking band. But Pritch injured his ankle while playing for England in the U21 European Championships this past summer. He recovered enough to get a brief cameo against Everton early in the season but suffered a setback and the injury eventually required surgery.

Now Pritch is healthy again and needs matches to get back to fitness, but in the meantime the club has moved on. It doesn't appear likely that he'll get his chance to crack the first team ahead of players like Son Heung-Min, Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, and even players like Nacer Chadli and Josh Onomah.

It's tempting to think that this loan is a sign that Pochettino is giving up on Pritch, but that's unlikely to be the case. The main thing that Pritch needs at this point in his recovery is matches to avoid this being a "lost season" that sets back his career. According to the Mirror, Norwich and Swansea are also interested in taking Pritch, but he wants to go back to the Championship in order to get more match time.

It's an interesting choice, but not necessarily a bad one. Burnley and Middlesborough are both in automatic promotion positions in the Championship, and are playing high level football in the second division. Both are strong contenders to promote. Considering Pritch's heroics with Brentford last season, it's likely that he can slot directly into either one of those sides. That's not necessarily the case with a Premier League loan.

There aren't any quotes or sources stated in the Mirror article, but this would make a lot of sense for Pritch, and I'd guess it's something that will happen. It's a shame that he's not going to get his shot with Tottenham this season, but Pritchard is still a very good footballer who Pochettino still admires greatly. If he can use this loan opportunity to get back into shape, he can hit the ground running with Spurs' first team next fall.