Spurs academy graduate says one unlikely player was more talented than Harry Kane

Tom Carroll has surprisingly named Ryan Mason as the player who was the most exciting talent in his age group, which is surprising considering the midfielder also played with Harry Kane.

It does appear as if Tottenham now have an exciting generation of young players coming through, with a number of current Under-21 stars being seen as potential first-team prospects.

The last time that Spurs arguably had such a group of talented youngsters come through at the same time was when Carroll was making his way through the age group ranks.

The 31-year-old, who now plies his trade at Exeter City, said about his time at the Spurs’ academy (via Football.London): “It was amazing for me to come through the youth system at Tottenham, going to the Under-23s and into the first team, and it was great to have done it with some top players.

“I played in the academy and through to the first team with the likes of Harry Kane, Andros Townsend, Steven Caulker and Ryan Mason, all of whom went on to play in the Premier League and play for their countries.”

Ryan Mason
Photo Credit: Hayters

Tommy Carroll was a big fan of Ryan Mason

The former England Under-21 international revealed that he loved playing alongside Tottenham’s current assistant coach Mason.

When asked who the most talented player in that age group was, Carroll said: “For me, the one player I loved watching when I was growing up was Ryan Mason. He was unbelievable in midfield and someone who I enjoyed watching and playing with.”

There were also high hopes for Carroll at the time, with the silky left-footer impressing in the youth sides for a number of years. However, even though the midfielder played 27 times for the senior side, he never quite managed to make it at White Hart Lane.

Speaking about his time at the club, he said: “It was great being at Tottenham. I joined the club when I was eight years old and left when I was 24, so I made some amazing friends and played for some unbelievable coaches.

“Obviously, once you get a taste for playing in the first team in the Premier League, you want to keep playing all the time, and you know that the club will bring in top players, so I loved playing with them during my time. I was fortunate enough to have gone back to the club last year to train with the Under 21s whilst I didn’t have a club, which I was grateful for.”

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At the time, Carroll was widely seen by most Spurs fans as the most talented out of the lot, with the midfielder being technically quite proficient from a young age. 

However, although he was a tidy footballer, he never quite developed physically in the way Tottenham would have hoped and perhaps did not have the athleticism and strength required to make it at the Premier League level.

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