Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has made few inexperienced mistakes at the helm in North London, but perhaps one of his biggest gaffs came just after joining the club.
On more than one occasion, Pochettino waxed lyrical about the jewel in the Tottenham academy crown, Marcus Edwards (Mirror).
Poch labelled him as a ‘Mini-Messi’, a title that Edwards has always struggled to follow. Who knows if the pressure was simply too much for the youngster, or if Pochettino spoke too soon, but Edwards has, so far, failed to live up to the bill.
After a loan spell at Norwich was cut short in 2018, questions were raised over the commitment and maturity from Edwards. Norwich manager, Daniel Farke, commented that (Independent): “There is no doubt that with the ball he is one of our best players. But without it, he has to grow up a bit. That was the reason he didn’t play for Tottenham. He needs to be more grown up in his attitude on the pitch and in his behaviour. We cannot carry him.”
Pochettino confirmed these worries in his ghostwritten book A Brave New World, with the Independent quoting: “He has authority and behavioural problems. There was a time when it would have been seen as impossible for him to play professionally, let alone make it in the Premier League. He has no shortage of talent, but there are gaps to be filled: he has to learn to score ugly, run more and be committed.”
Edwards has spent the last season on loan at Excelsior in Holland, away from the English media, with a chance to knuckle down and show exactly what he is made of.
The young winger registered two goals and four assists in 25 games for the relegation-threatened team, his best senior return, although the bar was set low.
Edwards is now 20-years-old and will perhaps receive his final chance next season to impress Pochettino, and to convince him that he can make it at Spurs.
Spurs Web Opinion:
I believe Pochettino should give Edwards one full pre-season to show what he is made of, before sitting him down and telling him how it is. One last chance to convince the manager, the staff, his teammates, and the fans that he can fulfil his potential. Otherwise, in the summer of 2020, I would sell him for whatever Spurs can get.
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