July 21, 2013
Return to training
As the squad return to training, it seems some of the Development Squad players have been given extended leave – Coulibaly and Veljkovic, for example. I presume this is because they don’t get to see their families regularly, as travelling home is more tricky. (EDIT: Veljkovic is away with Serbia U19s).
It’s unclear whether these two players have joined up with the rest of the Development Squad in the Algarve where, amongst others, they play Swindon Town. The squad had their first two training sessions in Portugal today.
There have already been three loan deals announced, all involving Swindon Town (see my article on loan links here). We seem to have forged an informal link with Swindon, apparently due to Tim Sherwood’s friendship with their Director, Lee Power.
Grant Hall and Massimo Luongo were the first to join the Wiltshire club on season-long loan deals, with Alex Pritchard following soon after. It now sounds as though Ryan Mason will be a Swindon Town loanee by next weekend too.
Hall is a 21-year old central defender, signed from Brighton last summer. He started 19 games for the Under-21s last season, captaining the side. He seemed to grow as the season went on, and has impressed in pre-season for Swindon town – notably against us!
Luongo is a talented Australian central midfield player who has a bit of everything to his game. Tenacious and technically gifted, he seems well-suited to playing at any level, and I personally think he has a chance of eventually being a first team squad member at Spurs. Hopefully he can play every week for Swindon and use the experience as a springboard to push on.
Pritchard caused a stir when he signed for Swindon, as many fans felt sure that he’d get another Championship loan after he spent time at Peterborough last season. Pritchard proved, to an extent, that he could compete in the Championship. Having said that, the difference between The Championship and League One is not that significant and, if we feel comfortable about the Swindon set-up, there could be logic in the move. Additionally, the chances are that Pritchard wouldn’t play every game for a Championship club, whereas he is likely to play most weeks at Swindon. Pritchard has become overrated due to the videos of his NextGen Series free kicks, and his performance against Barcelona at White Hart Lane. He’s a talented player, but has a long way to go – he’s clearly nowhere near ready for the Spurs first team as it stands.
Mason is a little bit of an enigma, and someone I wrote about in detail recently following his non-start in Lorient, and so I won’t go into that sort of detail again. However, he’s a player I’ve admired since I first saw him in the Under-18s as a 16-year old, and I think Swindon’s fans will enjoy his style of play.
Also on the move is Tomislav Gomelt, who has joined Royal Antwerp in the Belgian second division on loan for the season (Spurs have not yet confirmed this one). Antwerp have a new manager in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and it was apparently he who ear-marked Gomelt. I suspect that the move may have something to do with work permit issues – Belgium enjoys more relaxed laws, and Manchester United have often used their feeder club for this purpose. Hasselbaink has made eleven signings this summer already, including John Bostock, who we released at the completion of his contract.
Spurs XI matches