I need to start by stating the I think Dane Scarlett is going to be a wonderful talent for Spurs and will have many a success at the club in the very near future.
In the long-term, however, I think we need to look into the question, how good is Scarlett really going to be?
The 16-year-old this season has taken massive steps in his career, becoming a top-level player in his age bracket.
In the 2020/21 under-18 Premier League campaign, Scarlett has netted 13 goals in only 11 appearances, as well as racking up four assists. This feat alone is staggering, considering the forward is only set to turn 17 in March.
These goals alone, however, do not paint the full picture in terms of the youngster’s ability. He has also netted twice for the u23’s in the same number of games as well as scoring five times in a single FA Youth Cup game against Welsh side, Newport (TransferMarkt).
Stats alone do not show Scarlett’s true ability. Having seen limited time of him at first-team level, I looked into some videos of Scarlett playing at junior level. The first thing that I noticed was his raw athleticism and power.
The budding Lillywhite has unbelievable speed and ariel ability, which were most notably highlighted in his display at Chelsea when he rose above the pack to head home against a veteran, yet still very competent, Petr Cech.
The last attribute that potentially makes Scarlett as potent as projected in his stats is his positional sense and natural striker’s instinct.
He tends to play on the shoulder of the last man although can link play with advancing midfielders before peeling off making his way into the box for either a cutback or deadly finish.
However, we need to be realistic when speaking about such a young talent. Too many times across the country has an exciting prospect crumbled under the pressure attributed to them by English media and fans.
At 16, there are still many obstacles that need to be overcome before we can dub Scarlett as the next big thing. The most crucial obstacle that he must face is the step up from junior to senior football.
We see many young talents unable to adapt to the more physical side of the Premier League and European football, causing them to slowly fall away.
This, combined with the newfound fame and fortune, can lead to players never fulfilling their gifted potential with a glaringly obvious example being Ravel Morrison who now is a free agent after his contract was cancelled over in Holland.
To finish, I would like to note that Mourinho has been reported to be very impressed with Scarlett which was displayed when he came off the bench in a 4-0 Europa League win over Bulgarian side Ludogorets.
Therefore, I am inclined to believe that the young man possesses all the attributes and attitude necessary to slowly integrate himself into more senior football.
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