Mills: Mourinho is using Scarlett as a Tottenham smokescreen

Jose Mourinho may be talking up young Tottenham players like Dane Scarlett to “deflect” from the real issues at the club.

That is the view of former England and Leeds United defender Danny Mills, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 16-year-old became the youngest ever player to register an assist in the Europa League last week.

Scarlett won the ball from a Wolfsberger defender on the edge of the box before Carlos Vinicius lashed home Spurs’ fourth goal in their 4-0 win.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game his manager Mourinho labelled the young Englishman a “diamond” and compared him to Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford.

Earlier this season, the London-born ace became the youngest ever player to appear for Spurs in a competitive game but that record was beaten by his teammate Alfie Devine in January.

Asked whether Mourinho’s latest comments could put unnecessary pressure on Scarlett, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “With a young player coming in, Mourinho is saying he believes in young players and he will use the younger players and give them opportunities.

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“It’s Mourinho saying all the right things and maybe trying to cover and deflect from one or two other issues at the club.

“Of course, he’s not going to put a young player in who he feels isn’t ready or is going to be detrimental to himself or the team. That makes no sense for anybody.”

Mourinho has previous in overhyping young players. Back in 2014 when he was Chelsea manager he admitted he would be to blame if Dominic Solanke, Izzy Brown and Lewis Baker did not play for England.

While Solanke earned a solitary cap in 2017, he and Brown are now plying their trade in the Championship while Baker is turning out for Turkish side Trabzonspor.

In other news, Paul Robinson has backed a best-in-Europe goalkeeper to replace Hugo Lloris at Tottenham.