Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim has said that he is not surprised Tottenham let Marcus Edwards go, insisting that the winger may have needed to get away from his comfort zone to fulfil his potential.
Edwards has come on leaps and bounds since departing from Tottenham in 2019, with the youngster’s impressive displays for Vitoria Guimaraes earning him a move to Sporting in January of this year.
Since his move to the Portuguese capital, the 23-year-old has quickly evolved into one of Sporting’s most important players, having already notched up nine goal contributions for the club so far this season (Transfermarkt).
Edwards was near unplayable in the clash against Tottenham last month, with Sporting emerging 2-0 winners at the Jose Alvalade Stadium.
Ahead of the return leg, Amorim was asked about Spurs’ decision to let the winger leave and he pointed to Joao Felix swapping Porto for Benfica as an example of a talented youngster having to move on elsewhere to succeed.
When asked if he was surprised at Tottenham letting Edwards go, Amorim told Football.London: “No, because this happens with several players.
“Coaches and Sporting don’t have to get everything right all the time. Some players are not at that level and that doesn’t just mean the talent. That happens with talented players and big players.
“It happened with Marcus Edwards in our team and what they have to do is go out of their comfort zone into a different country, face a different reality and now he is coming back.
“I am not surprised this is happening. It happened with Joao Felix when he left Porto to go to Benfica.
“Coaches evaluate the moment and thought with Marcus he had a lot of talent but he still needed to improve to get to a top club. He is now at a top club but needs to be a bit more regular with his play but I haven’t seen anything about him being released.”
Former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had even likened Edwards’ talent to Lionel Messi back in 2016 but Amorim insisted that the Tottenham academy graduate still has areas he needs to improve in.
He added: “Marcus is a player with a lot of talent and everyone in England was saying the same. The ex-coach [Mauricio Pochettino] said he had something a bit like [Lionel] Messi.
“He went to Portugal to develop and to play for one of the big teams in Portugal. He is playing in the Champions League, he is maturing, something that comes with age, but I think he can improve a lot.
“He has got the talent but can still improve when it comes to his training, to his schedules and to keep up that high level daily, not only in matches but in his daily life when it comes to being a football professional, but he is happy kid.
“He is happy at the club and has a special relationship with [Issahaku] Fatawu and for example that helps players develop daily. He still has a lot to give and a lot to improve but I see a very happy future for Marcus Edwards.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I suspect that had Edwards been patient enough to work hard and wait for his opportunity, Tottenham would have been happy to offer him a new contract.
As is often the case with up-and-coming youngsters, he was keen to play first-team football as soon as possible, which is probably why he decided to leave.
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