Tim Sherwood believes Tottenham have not recently given academy graduates such Japhet Tanganga enough opportunities to prove themselves in the first team.
The former Spurs boss made his own mark during his brief tenure at the club part-way through the 2013/14 campaign, electing to give a young Harry Kane a chance to impress in the first team.
Tanganga burst onto the scene in January of last year, when Jose Mourinho handed him a last-minute start in an unfavoured position at right-back against Liverpool.
He has since been in and around the Spurs senior line-up but has had a handful of injury problems to contend with, which have hindered his development.
Current manager Nuno Espirito Santo has entrusted Tanganga in the early stages of this season, though, starting him in both of Spurs’ Premier League victories against Manchester City and Wolves.
Although Tanganga appears to be receiving his opportunities in north London, Sherwood claims some of Spurs’ ‘underachieving money’ signings could be blocking the club’s academy products.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday panel on August 21, he said: “I think they have good players. You look around the squad, they are very good. I think there is a lot of underachieving money spent.
“I think they have players like Doherty and Serge Aurier. And they have a boy from the academy right under their nose in Tanganga, who they need to give the opportunity to.
“I don’t think they have had managers who want to give the kids the opportunity anymore. It’s almost not worth having the academy there, which is sad for me to say.
“I have seen their best player come through, at the moment, is one they are going to sell for £150 million if he gets his way.”
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Tanganga has relished his opportunity in the Spurs first team, cementing his spot as the club’s right-back during Aurier’s transfer speculation and Doherty’s struggles in north London so far. Nuno has trusted him, but also Oliver Skipp in midfield to start the season, who also looks solid currently.
It is difficult for academy products to break through while big-money signings continue to come in, but there are plenty of opportunities in domestic and European competitions for younger players to stake a claim.
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