Karl Robinson had just lost a game, but he had a big grin on his face.
“I have got young kids – Dele Alli has just turned 17, and I think you will be writing an awful lot of lines about this young boy many, many times because he’s as good as I’ve seen.
“You have all seen tonight that he’s destined for going in one direction. He’s got all the attributes. He’s in there fuming that we have been beaten at 17 years of age.”
Robinson was ultimately proven right in his admiration of Alli with Tottenham Hotspur eventually winning the race for the midfielder’s signature. His meteoric rise – from the Football League to the Premier League – has some fans curious if there is more talent to be snapped up.
With that in mind, Football.london looked at three players who Spurs could benefit from signing.
The Southend United striker made a bold impression on the first-team by scoring from his own half against Plymouth Argyle as a 17-year-old.
Now 18, the American youth-international scored an astonishing 61 for goals for Southend’s U16 side on his way to the first-team. A well-rounded forward that scored a variety of goals and has positional intelligence, his willingness to come deep and run in behind helps him score a variety of different types of goals.
Able to play on the right-wing too, he has managed five goals in 18 league games last season. When he broke through at Southend, he worked with Chris Powell, who is now working for Tottenham’s academy. Powell was definitely a fan of Kelman during their time together at Roots Hall.
“He’s been a real find and a real bright spark in a really tough time for us,” Powell said. “We have a player who could have a really good future with us.”
It’s believed that Spurs have scouted the striker in the past, and there was talk recently that Queens Park Rangers were interested in the forward.if Spurs are quick they can swoop in and potentially loan Kelman to QPR.
Peterborough United have a strong track record of producing talented attackers that step up from the Football League, and Ricky-Jade Jones looks like the most recent export.
The 17-year-old has only made 17 appearances for the first-team, but he has produced four goals during that time. His speed and strength make him a dangerous player, and his willingness to work off the ball has reportedly put him on the radar of Liverpool and Manchester United.
A talented dribbler that has fantastic goal-scoring reactions, the player himself has said he mirrors his game on Marcus Rashford. Given Spurs struggles at centre-forward, the teenager could be the perfect long-term project player for the club.
Spurs will need to act quickly, however, as Director of football, Barry Fry revealed recently that both Arsenal and Leeds had discussed his availability with the club.
Ok, hear me out.
The talented young midfielder rose to prominence as part of Hashtag United’s search for young talent, and he was quickly snapped up by Northampton Town. A central midfielder by trade, Pollock has managed one goal and two assists in 1,149 minutes of action.
He has wowed viewers on YouTube with his technical ability, and although he’s not the best on the ball, he could still forge a good professional career.
It’s also worth considering how well he would adapt to life at Spurs. His time with Hashtag means he’s comfortable in front of the camera, which will be great for any future Amazon documentaries. He also shone during the Wembley Cup, and that big-game mentality will be perfect for an ambitious side eager to win trophies.