'Absolutely Massive' - Exclusive: Pundit wowed by Tottenham player development
Noel Whelan has been left wowed by Tottenham youngster Alfie Devine’s goalscoring debut against Marine.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League striker insisted the 16-year-old’s display the FA Cup third round are what dreams are made of.
Devine became Spurs’ youngest ever play and scorer in a competitive match at the age of 16 years and 163 days in Sunday’s 5-0 thrashing of the eighth-tier side.
The midfielder picked up the ball on the hour mark after a Lucas Moura backheel and fired in a low shot that beat the Marine goalkeeper at his near post.
Asked by Football Insider what the occasion will mean to Devine, Whelan said: “It will be absolutely massive for him.
“This is what you dream about as a kid. Playing in FA Cup games, being part of a club with a great history like Tottenham.
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“16 years of age it doesn’t get any better in the new year for you. Making a debut and scoring a goal.
“There are lots of young players at Tottenham, they seem to have a good academy set up and you always see these gems come through. Harry Winks is one, Harry Kane is another one.
“It seems to me that their academy system is working and there’s yet another young player coming through and making his debut and a statement for the future.
“It’s great to see, I love seeing young kids being given their opportunity and Jose Mourinho seems to be one of those managers doing that.
“It was a calm, composed brilliant finish.”
Speaking after the game Jose Mourinho insisted the former Wigan Athletic youngster had “good potential”.
He added: “He’s a kid that basically is a midfield player but with an instinct to appear in finishing zones and to score goals.”