December 23, 2018
Spurs have a number of players out on loan as it stands:
- Cameron Carter-Vickers (1997) – Swansea City, Championship
- Josh Onomah (1997) – Sheffield Wednesday, Championship
- Connor Ogilvie (1996) – Gillingham, League One
- Marcus Edwards (1998) – Excelsior, Eredivisie
- Sam Shashoua (1999) – Atlético Baleares, Segunda División B – Group 3 (Spanish third tier)
Carter-Vickers has played 413 minutes for Swansea City across eight appearances, four from the start. He has essentially been unable to displace Mike van der Hoorn or Swansea’s own Academy prospect, 21-year old Joe Rodon. Rumours suggest that talks are ongoing as to whether Carter-Vickers will be recalled, with Ipswich waiting in the wings to take him for the second half of the season if that is ultimately agreed.
Josh Onomah has endured another unhappy loan spell. Jos Luhukay was sacked as manager last week — one of his final duties was to publicly criticise Onomah, who he withdrew at half-time in his final match.
Caretaker manager Lee Bullen put Onomah straight back in the line-up for the match against Preston North End and was rewarded with an assist. I was able to watch the game, and had a few thoughts on Onomah which I tweeted in this thread:
Sheffield Wednesday grew in confidence as the match went on. This coincided with them playing through Onomah in midfield rather than bypassing him, and it ultimately led to the goal, which Onomah created with a cross.
From my perspective he did not have an outstanding game — certainly not close to the levels we’ve seen him at for Spurs Under-18s, Under-23s, or England Under-20s, but he was good, and a lot of Wednesday’s fans were raving about him afterwards and hoping that this is the start of things to come.
The problem is that Steve Bruce is likely to take over. The same Steve Bruce who had Onomah at Villa, and arguably did not make the best use of him; it will be interesting to see how Spurs handle this one. On one hand, they could argue that adversity is character-building. On the other, Onomah needs to be playing in a possession-based team to be able to showcase his talent.
At this point it looks likely to me that Pochettino has made his mind up on Onomah, and I suspect he will move on at the end of the season. I personally think that that is best for his career; he would be better off joining a Championship club, establishing himself and working his way back up to the Premier League. It’s a pity that the stars haven’t aligned for Onomah in the same way that they did for Harry Winks, but the reality is that in the current climate, Premier League managers see less risk in spending money on players who had already got some games under their belts, something I wrote about last week.
Ogilvie has found starts trickier to come across in his second spell at Gillingham, though he has been back in their first team for the past four league matches. Ogilvie turns 23 in February and I presume this loan must be another ‘audition’ for a permanent move to the Gills, where he seems to fit in reasonably well.
Edwards has found himself out of the way Excelsior team lately after a good early run in which he’d started seven straight matches, so when he was named on the bench against Heracles last night I didn’t pay much attention. With quarter of an hour to go, I noticed he’d come on – streams of Eredivisie matches are very easy to find so I managed to catch a bit. His side were 3-0 down at the time and the team were struggling to move the ball out of defence. Edwards was coming into the centre of the pitch and willing to take the ball anywhere, turning sharply and committing players. His teammates seemed to have been directed to give the ball to him, which hopefully suggests that he might find his way back into the starting XI next time out. I also saw him tear back into position to cover breaks a couple of times; his lack of defensive instinct was something people had previously criticised him for, so this was pleasing.
Sample sizes are relatively small and he’s at a struggling side, but their points per game are 0.57 when he doesn’t start compared to 1.14 when he does. I’ve caught three or four matches and he’s generally been their most lively player, though his decision making has been an issue and he’s only registered one assist so far. Still, as long as he plays some games in the second half of the season then you’d have to say that this is infinitely better for him than occasional Under-23 matches.
Best case scenario: he establishes himself again in the second half of the season, registers a few goals and assists and is given a clean slate in pre-season 2019/20.
Sam Shashoua, or just ‘Samuel’ as the Spanish commentators charmingly refer to him, is having a lovely time at Club Deportivo Atlético Baleares in Majorca. The Spanish third tier seems to be a good fit for his physical development, and a season of regular matches out on the left wing will stand him in good stead for next year.
He has so far racked up 3 goals and 2 assists in 997 minutes, a goal or assist every 199 minutes; not bad for a 19-year old making his first steps into competitive men’s football. Shashoua could easily play League One football, but given how well he seems to have settled, it makes sense to leave him at Baleares and to see how he looks after a full season. I suspect he could be a player who goes on the first team’s pre-season tour, and from there who knows what can happen: just look at Luke Amos before injury cruelly robbed him of potential opportunities.