It’s the time of year where we find out which young players have been released. This year, those leaving the club are:
Development Squad players Enock Asante (19), Chay Cooper (19), Keenan Ferguson (20), George Marsh (22), Rodel Richards (20), Jack Roles (22), Aaron Skinner (19), Kazaiah Sterling (22) and Shilow Tracey (23).
Under-18s players Eddie Carrington (18) and Tarrelle Whittaker (18).
Amongst this group there are two slight surprises for me -– Richards and Whittaker –- though there are a couple of other names that people might be interested in a comment on.
Jack Roles is a talented midfielder who has the (rare) ability to time a run into the box which has led to him being a regular goal-scorer across all stages of his career. He was pushing for loans for some time before he was allowed to go out and, personally, I feel this delay held him back. He then had a brilliant loan spell at Cambridge United in League Two and subsequently moved to Burton Albion in League One this season. It didn’t work out for various reasons and he moved to Stevenage, where he struggled to make an impression on their manager. Roles is a good player and I think Spurs have ultimately missed out on a reasonable fee for him by mismanaging his development. I would expect him to have a lot of offers this summer and for him to then work his way back up the pyramid.
Keanan Ferguson was picked up at the start of the season having been released from Sheffield United. He has suffered with an injury for much of the season and leaves after just a year which, on the surface, seems a failure. But I liked this signing –- it’s a signing that was pretty low-risk and, in theory, it allowed us to send TJ Eyoma and Jubril Okedina out on loan, two players who might otherwise have played right-back for the Under-23s. I like the concept of identifying and signing young players released by other academies both in terms of providing Under-23 cover but also having a closer look at them to see if they can be developed. For example, Marcel Lavinier was picked up from Chelsea and found himself making a first team appearance this season.
Onto the two that surprised me a bit, Richards is a buzzy little attacking midfielder/forward with strong technical skills who scored 3 in 9 for the Under-23s this season, and I thought there was something there worth working with for longer. I actually thought he could be one that could get a loan next year. I would suggest that lower league recruiters should take a look at him for their clubs.
Likewise Whittaker, a versatile forward who I thought would get another year. The problem for Whittaker, I guess, was the amount of quality forward players he was competing against for game time.
Another slight surprise is that Jeremie Mukendi has been retained, as he has barely played, which normally implies that the player isn’t fancied. But hopefully we’ll get to see a bit of him in the Under-23s over the coming season.
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