By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes | Premier League expert with experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
Cameron Carter-Vickers has been named in the Tottenham squad to face Fiorentina on Thursday night.
The centre-back, 18, has been called up for only the second time to the matchday 18 as Mauricio Pochettino tweaks his team for the Europa League last-32 clash in Italy.
As revealed by Football Insider last week, the Academy graduate is drafted into the squad where he is joined by fellow teenager Josh Onomah but skipper Hugo Lloris misses out with a shoulder injury.
Manager Pochettino confirmed the news to the media as Spurs touched down in Florence on Wednesday before their training session.
“Josh Onomah and Cameron Carter-Vickers are with us in the squad,” the manager said. “That’s very important but the squad is strong, we are in a good period and it’s important to keep that.”
Carter-Vickers is yet to make his first-team debut but has been training with the senior group since the start of the season and Pochettino said earlier this month that he “has enough quality” to come into the side.
The Academy graduate was sixth in the centre-back pecking order a few weeks ago but Jan Vertonghen’s knee injury and the January sale of Federico Fazio has pushed him behind only current pair Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer, and Eric Dier, who has been used almost predominantly in midfield this season.
A Spurs source has told Football Insider that Carter-Vickers is so highly rated within the club that he has the potential to be the “next Ledley King”.
The USA Under-23 international has been a regular in Spurs’ Under-21s team this season and was called up to the senior squad for the first time for the 4-1 Europa League win over Monaco in December, when he was an unused substitute.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 17, 2016
For the away leg in Florence, Dele Alli, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane are among those who could be left on the bench as Pochettino keeps his leading players fresh for their Premier League title challenge.
The latest Tottenham team news is that the likes of Michel Vorm, Tom Carroll, Ryan Mason, Erik Lamela, Ben Davies and Nacer Chadli, who were all on the substitutes’ bench for Sunday’s dramatic 2-1 win over Manchester City, could all start.
Spurs have three matches before they host Swansea in their next league fixture on Sunday week.