Jose Mourinho has done the right thing sending Alfie Devine back to the Tottenham academy after his “incredible” debut.
That is the view of former Rangers and Scotland manager Alex McLeish who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, compared the youngster’s experience to his own breakthrough at Aberdeen.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference this week, as quoted by Football.London Mourinho revealed he had sent the 16-year-old “back where he belongs” – to the academy – after his first-team exploits against Marine.
Devine came on at halftime in Spurs’ FA Cup clash and scored 15 minutes to become the youngest-ever goalscorer for the Lilywhites.
However, McLeish believes Mourinho is doing the right thing sending the hot prospect back to develop among the club’s under-18s and under-23s.
McLeish told Football Insider: “Amazing, to come on into the first-team at that age and get your first goal for your beloved team so that is quite incredible.
“We’ve seen it in the past, we’ve seen it recently with some Liverpool players coming in and, you know, we say: ‘Oh this kid’s going to be brilliant,’ and then it’s: ‘What happened to that boy?’
“Devine has got to ensure he can continue his journey. He’s been given a taste of it now and he will be wanting more of it so badly.
“As a youngster, when I got my first game for the first-team, I was dropped for the next game even though we won and I played well but I was told I didn’t want to be rushed in terms of my development, and too much pressure too soon, which in the end was brilliant management from Billy McNeill, it was great advice.
“The guy, Devine, will be relishing what he’s done but he’s got to keep doing it.”