Ledley King has advised some of Tottenham’s best youth prospects to follow the lead of academy graduate Oliver Skipp on their quest to break into regular first-team contention.
The 21-year-old has seemingly cemented a spot in the Spurs line-up alongside Denmark international Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg after completing a successful season on loan at Norwich.
Skipp’s regular presence sees him play within a first-team squad littered with fellow academy graduates including Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Japhet Tanganga.
However, Spurs have a handful of youth players on the cusp of contention in the senior side, with the likes of Dane Scarlett, Dilan Markanday and Nile John having been included in the club’s Europa Conference League squads this season.
Legendary Spurs defender King has since weighed in with some of his thoughts on the talent coming through the club’s academy.
In an interview via Signathon (Football.London), he said: “Dilan [Markanday] always impressed me whenever he got the opportunity to train with the first team.
“Dane [Scarlett] as we’ve said and again, he has played some games this season, not been easy for him with the team struggling to create chances and what Dane is, at this young age is an unbelievable finisher.
“The other aspects of his game he needs to work on but in terms of sticking the ball in the back of the net, he’s got that, but we didn’t see him get any real opportunities to do that, so difficult for him but I’ve got a great belief that he will have a huge part to play in Tottenham’s history in the next ten years or so.
“Another one is Alfie Devine, a young midfielder who impressed me a lot. He is someone again who keeps working hard, keeps his head down and can have a very bright future.”
Although the aforementioned players have had some senior experience at Spurs, they are still looking to cement a permanent place in the side’s first team.
King later cited the progression of England U21 international Skipp as something the club’s youth players should look to emulate on their own journeys going forward.
He added: “Skippy is a great example of hard work and discipline. He is someone who came through the youth team and he was always focused and so mature in the way he played the game and the way he conducted himself.
“For a lot of young players, you see when someone is so dedicated to their craft and how far it can really take them.
“Him going on loan at Norwich really did him the world of good, his confidence grew from that and he is a Premier League player now, so I’m really delighted for him, he has played well this season.
“He is still a young lad, he is still learning and in a team that has been inconsistent which is never easy when you are a young player, and hopefully the manager can come in and bring some structure to the team and that will help him.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Skipp’s progression is definitely something the young players at Spurs should look to for inspiration. He isn’t that much older than the players discussed either, so it shows that anything is possible if they can stick to it and keep their heads down.
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