Who is Ashley Phillips? He hasn’t been around for long, so you would be forgiven for not knowing much about Tottenham Hotspur’s latest recruit.
Despite his age, Phillips has already made a big impression with Championship side Blackburn Rovers, and is one of the most highly-rated young, English centre-halves around.
So, here’s everything there is to know about the new Spurs starlet.
Name: Ashley Phillips
Place of birth: England
Current club: Blackburn Rovers
Former clubs: N/A
International appearances: 6 caps for England U19s (Transfermarkt)
Club appearances: 14 senior appearances (Transfermarkt)
Ashley Phillips’ career stats
The 2022/23 campaign was a breakthrough year for Ashley Phillips as he made his debut for Blackburn Rovers. The youngster started four consecutive Championship games in August 2022, but was then used sparingly throughout the rest of the season.
By the end of last term, Phillips had turned out eight times in the Championship (Transfermarkt). He also played a part in Blackburn’s run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, and was involved in the League Cup, too. Due to his involvement with the first team, Phillips spent a lot less time with the Blackburn Rovers development side.
On the international stage, Phillips played every minute for England under-19s as they looked to qualify for the European Championships. He also featured for England under-18s in three friendlies (Transfermarkt).
Ashley Phillips’ strengths and weaknesses
Ashley Phillips is fantastic at reading the game from defensive areas and always seems to be in the right place at the right time to make a key interception or block. The timing of his tackles are a real strong point for Phillips, and he is often very calm and composed when faced with a 1v1 situation.
That composure serves Phillips well when he has the ball at his feet, too. The young defender has no issue with picking up the ball and carrying it out of defence. That skill set will serve him well if and when he breaks into Ange Postecoglou‘s first team at Tottenham, as the Australian prefers ball-playing centre-halves.
It is difficult to pick out weaknesses in Phillips’ game at this stage, as he is so young. The only discernible downside to the 18-year-old right now is that he can be prone to minor injury issues, but that is fairly normal for a young man growing into his body and playing sports at such a high level.
What are people saying about Ashley Phillips?
Former Blackburn boss, Tony Mowbray, previously described Phillips as a “phenomenal young boy” who has “every attribute” you could want from a defender (Lancs Live).
The centre-back has been generating plenty of buzz in the Spurs Community fan forums, too, with supporters comparing Phillips to Virgil van Dijk due to his physical presence and ball-carrying ability.
We should not expect too much from Phillips just yet, however. Given his age and relative inexperience, this is a “signing for the future,” as Fabrizio Romano put it.
What do The Spurs Web think?
This should be a fantastic investment for Tottenham, as long as we nurture Phillips correctly. He has so much potential and could become one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League one day.
He should spend a year with our development side to acquaint himself with the club, and then look at a loan spell in 2024.
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