'It'll be Hard to Take' - Exclusive: Pundit reacts to Alfie Devine reveal at Tottenham
Alfie Devine will find it “very difficult” to adapt to life back in the academy after making his first-team debut for Tottenham last weekend.
That is the view of former Spurs and Leeds midfielder Michael Brown who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 16-year-old’s return would have the other players in the youth team buzzing.
Devine enjoyed a dream debut against Marine in the FA Cup as he scored after coming off the substitutes’ bench at half-time.
However, as quoted by Football.London earlier this week, Jose Mourinho confirmed he had sent the young midfielder “back where he belongs” – to train and play in the academy.
Brown admitted it would be tough for the teenager to settle back into life among the under-18s and under-23s but that his first-team performance will have given his teammates a boost.
Asked how mentally difficult it would be for Devine to return to the academy, Brown told Football Insider: “It’s very difficult that, because I had it a little bit but generally I was then in the first-team squad from 17.
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“It’ll be hard to take but mentally, you’ve had that taste. All his teammates around him, it gives a real buzz around the Academy.
“Now he’s got to have that drive, he’s got to see he will be getting filtered over there in training sessions more often so he’s got to be ready and step up to it.”
Devine arrived at Tottenham from Wigan Athletic for £300,000 last summer as the Lilywhites took advantage of the Latics going into administration.
He featured regularly for the under-18s in the early part of the season but has since stepped up to play for the under-23s.