21 year old Filip Lesniak made his Tottenham Hotspur debut during Thursday’s 6-1 demolition of Leicester City, when he was subbed on for Mousa Dembele in the 86th minute. So, in light of the youngster’s momentous occasion, I thought I’d have a look into who this kid is and where he came from.
Slovak, Filip Lesniak, was born on the 14th of May 1996 and is the grandson of the current manager of the Slovakian national football team, Jan Kovac. He plays as a central defensive midfielder and joined the Tottenham Hotspur youth academy in 2012 where he went on to make 51 appearances for the Tottenham under 21s. 4 years later, Lesniak was sent out on loan to Czech Republic side Slovan Liberec in 2016 where he made just 6 appearances. During this time, he made his football league debut and also made his first appearance in the Europa League, getting 7 minutes of football in a qualifying round against Admira Wacking Molding (no, I didn’t make that up).
After a short loan spell in the Czech Republic, Lesniak returned to Tottenham and finally made his debut in Spurs’ Thursday rout over former champions Leicester City. Impressively, despite getting just a handful of minutes on the pitch, Lesniak actually got himself an assist when passing to Kane on the edge of the area before the current Premier League top scorer fired in his 3rd goal of the game.
On the international stage, Lesniak is yet to appear for the Slovakian national team managed by his grandfather. He has however played for the Slovakia under 17s, 18s, 19s, 20s and 21s. His uncle, Jan Kovac Jr, is also a former footballer, who retired in 2015 before quickly being named manager of Slovan Bratislava B. He made 25 appearances for Slovakia and actually had a brief stint in England, making 6 appearances for West Brom in 2006, would you believe it?
It is difficult to judge his potential based on just these limited glimpses of his football, but with Summer on the horizon, we can perhaps expect to see Lesniak in action during the tour of Hong Kong at the end of the month and the International Champions Cup in July.