Former Tottenham midfielder Michael Brown has claimed that Alfie Devine will find it difficult to go back and train with the academy players after getting a taste of competitive first-team action.
Devine, who joined from Wigan Athletic in the summer has featured seven times for the Under-18s and four times for the Under-23s since the start of the season (transfermarkt.com).
Jose Mourinho has revealed that the 16-year-old has also trained with the first-team and the Spurs boss handed the youngster his senior debut in the FA Cup third-round clash against Marine.
Devine impressed with his cameo off the bench and marked his debut with a well-taken goal. It was apparent from the youngster’s reaction that the goal meant a lot to him.
When Mourinho was asked last week if there was a spring in Devine’s step after his first goal for the club, the Portuguese coach admitted that he had sent the youngster to train with the academy after the match.
When asked about Devine returning to the academy, Brown told Football Insider: “It’s very difficult that, because I had it a little bit but generally I was then in the first-team squad from 17.
“It’ll be hard to take but mentally, you’ve had that taste. All his teammates around him, it gives a real buzz around the Academy.
“Now he’s got to have that drive, he’s got to see he will be getting filtered over there in training sessions more often so he’s got to be ready and step up to it.”
Spurs Web Opinion
At 16 years of age, Devine still has a lot of maturing to do both physically and mentally. Mourinho is doing the right thing by ensuring that he continues to work with the academy coaches at this stage. I suspect it will be a couple of years before the midfielder is promoted to the first-team squad.
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