Both Tottenham and Liverpool rotated heavily during their League Cup clash, so we take a look at some of the Spurs youngsters on show. With Spurs facing a gruelling schedule of seven games in twenty-three days, the Football League Cup tie at Anfield was always going to be low on the priority list. As such, we saw a few of Tottenham’s new generation of talented youngsters coming up through the academy.
With an eye to the future, it is the four young and inexperienced players that appeared on Tuesday night and captured our interest. Firstly, here is how the team lined up:
Cameron Carter-Vickers: In just his second start for Spurs, the 18-year-old stood up well in central defence. Alongside a rusty looking Kevin Wimmer, he faced off against the dangerous Liverpool front three without too much difficulty. Will need to play more alongside a regular partner to form an understanding.
Harry Winks: Played the full ninety minutes, looked confident and assured in possession. Ended the game with 91.2% passing accuracy from 57 passes and made 71 touches on the ball. He kept possession well and pushed forward with a few runs. At 20 years of age looked much more accomplished than fellow central midfielder Tom Carroll (24).
Josh Onomah: Also played the full ninety, however despite a few glimpses of his talent he failed to impress in what was his 24th appearance for the first XI. The main issue for Onomah is that his route into the first team is to play down the right wing. However, his best position is undoubtedly in a more central role. Sadly this somewhat limits him to this type of uncomfortable looking performances.
Shayon Harrison: Only came on in the 83rd minute, to make his professional debut at 19. Had a great chance from an Erik Lamela cross that he was unable to control and bring down. His first touch took it just too close to Simon Mignolet, who was able to save. Other than that he made a few tidy passes and didn’t look overwhelmed by the occasion, a good future prospect.
What does the future hold?
All four of these players will need more game time if they really want to improve and hit the first team regularly. This is where Mauricio Pochettino’s style of keeping those he trusts close to him rather than letting them go out on loan could prove challenging. Opportunities for these four will be limited, especially now that Tottenham’s League Cup run has ended.
For Carter-Vickers and Harrison the way to the first team seems reasonably simple. Carter-Vickers is already considered the backup to Toby Alderweireld as Pochettino favours having a left and a right footed player at left and right centre-back. For Harrison, Spurs relative lack of strikers means that whilst he has the likes of Kane, Janssen and Heung-Min Son in his way the route to playing more regularly isn’t too crowded.
However, for Winks and Onomah the path to the top is a tricky one. That is with regular starters such as Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Victor Wanyama ahead of them in their ideal playing areas. It would be a great shame if lack of playing time were to impact negatively on either of their careers. They are arguably the two most promising youngsters Spurs have on the books. Hopefully future performances in training and off the bench can convince Pochettino to give both more time on the pitch.