By Tottenham correspondent
Mauricio Pochettino has namechecked two youngsters on Tottenham’s books who can follow in the footsteps of Harry Kane and company.
Spurs have earned a reputation for producing and developing some of the best young talents in England in recent seasons.
Harry Kane, Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason, Tom Carroll, Josh Onomah and Newcastle’s January signing Andros Townsend have all graduated from the Tottenham academy into the first-team squad, while Eric Dier and Dele Alli have taken huge strides in a very short time at White Hart Lane.
Pochettino has insisted that there is plenty more talent in the age-group teams capable of breaking into the senior side in the future.
In the week in which Spurs failed to land a striker in the transfer window who can provide cover up front for Kane, the manager backed the credentials of versatile attacking midfielders Son Heung-min and Nacer Chadli and namechecked two academy strikers – the 18-year-old Shayon Harrison and the 17-year-old Kazaiah Sterling – as players for whom he wanted to clear a pathway to the first team.
“We have many players that can play like a striker, like Sonny or Chadli, who have shown they can score,” Pochettino explained at his media briefing on Thursday. “And we have younger players that train with us like Shayon and, in behind him, Sterling and different players. We have to believe in the younger players because for our future they will be very important players.”
Sterling is a first-year scholar in the academy, while Harrison is in the group of second-year scholars at the club.
The manager has preferred to work with the players he has, rather than spend for the sake of it.
“Our people need to understand that Tottenham changed their vision, not in terms of the football but in the way that we take decisions,” Pochettino said. “For us, it is very important to keep the balance and find the right player, not only the strikers but in different positions.
“You need to realise that to improve our squad today is a very difficult job. It’s easier to find different names on the market, to pay the money and to bring players but it’s not the way that we decided upon 18 months ago.
“If, at the end of the season, we achieve big things, OK, everyone is happy. But if not, I think we have created a very good basis to achieve next season. The project is very clear and we need to believe more when we have a difficult moment to take decisions.”