Opinion: Eight academy starlets who could benefit from Conference League

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While the majority of the Spurs fan base were disappointed with finishing the season in seventh and entering the UEFA Conference League, there are some positives.

Our first team will be able to focus on the Premier League and securing qualification for a top European Competition, and the Conference League will allow more of our academy players to get first-team minutes.

Here are the eight players whom I believe have the best chance at getting minutes in this competition next season.

Parrott, White, Fagan-Walcott, and Clarke are not on this list as I think they will likely be loaned out.

Maksim Paskotsi

Paskotsi is likely a controversial pick as he has yet to make his senior debut for Spurs – although Paskotsi did make his senior debut for Flora Tallinn before Spurs signed him in October 2020.

However, the 18-year-old has impressed while playing for the academy. Paskotsi notched 5 goals from 20 appearances as a centre-back for the U-18’s and made his debut for the U-23’s in April.

Paskotsi has also become a semi-regular in the Estonian national team making five appearances for the side in their last 6 matches and winning the Baltic Cup on June 10 for the nation’s first time since 1938.

Dennis Cirkin

Another player yet to make his Spurs debut, Dennis Cirkin is likely to get a run in the Conference League next season. The 19-year-old did get an opportunity in Spurs 20/21 preseason playing a total of 163 minutes.

The young left-back has a tough road ahead of him if he wishes to break into Spurs’ first team. With Ben Davies, Sergio Reguilón, and Ryan Sessegnon all ahead of him in that left-back spot, Cirkin will have to impress with the opportunities he is given.

Alfie Devine

Spurs’ youngest ever player and youngest ever goal-scorer Alfie Devine will feel he should get his chance to impress next season. Bought from Wigan last summer for £300,000, Devine is clearly highly rated by Spurs staff.

Still only 16, Devine impressed when brought on against Marine back in January. Devine then found his spot on the bench against both Aston Villa and Brighton later in the season but remained an unused substitute.

Dane Scarlett

Once Spurs’ youngest player, Dane Scarlett was adored by Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager called the 17-year-old a “diamond” and awarded Scarlett his European debut and Premier League debut as Scarlett remains Spurs’ youngest ever Premier League player.

With Carlos Vinicius’ return to Benfica upon the expiration of his loan, Scarlett will be the only recognized striker at the club to have already made his debut. (Other than Kane, assuming Parrott gets another loan).

Unless Spurs sign another striker over the summer, Scarlett could find himself getting plenty of minutes.

Dilan Markanday

Yet to make his senior debut, Spurs fans may be unfamiliar with Dilan Markanday. However, the 19-year-old did find himself on the bench for the second leg match against AFC Wolfsberger. Unfortunately, Markanday was not brought off the bench.

After the game, Markanday posted this message on Instagram, “A great experience. The hard work continues,” Jose Mourinho then commented, “your day will arrive.

If Jose Mourinho believed Markanday would get an opportunity, it is likely the next manager will agree.

Marcel Lavinier

Having made his debut earlier this season against AFC Wolfsberger, Lavinier will be hoping to build on that next season. The 20-year-old only signed for Spurs in October 2020 after Chelsea chose not to renew his contract.

Lavinier is known for his pace and versatility, having played left-back, centre-back, but primarily right-back for Spurs U-23’s this season.

Nile John

Another player who made his debut against AFC Wolfsberger. Nile John came on for the final nine minutes. John was also on the bench in Spurs’ final game of the season against Leicester. However, the 18-year-old remained an unused substitute.

John primarily played for Spurs U-23’s this season making ten appearances since September. The Englishman has also made 27 appearances for the U-18’s since February 2019 as the Englishman turned 18 in March.

Jamie Bowden

Jamie Bowden had three short appearances for Spurs in this pre-season, getting 40 minutes total. Bowden was also an unused substitute in Spurs 4-1 win over AFC Wolfsberger in the Europa League.

The 19-year-old will be hoping to get a strong run this preseason and continue to make appearances as the season continues.

Bowden plays primarily as a defensive midfielder. Because of this, Bowden will be competing with Oliver Skipp, Harry Winks, and Pierre Emile Højbjerg.

Luckily for Bowden, Skipp, Winks, and Højbjerg are expected to be play in the Premier League and more competitive competitions.

Ultimately, Spurs’ new manager will decide who deserves an opportunity this season. However, these players will be hoping they have done enough to be awarded a chance. And then do enough with their chance to prove they can make the step into the first team.

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