A brief look at Tottenham’s promising youth players

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Souleymane Coulibaly

‘Soli’ Coulibaly has become the centre of attention in attack with many of Spurs’ talented players heading out on loan. The Ivorian joined the club from Siena and looked to be in the shadows of Shaquile Coulthirst and Cristian Ceballos, but there departures have opened up new avenues for the striker.

At just under 5’8 Coulibaly is not the tallest of strikers but makes use of his low-centre of gravity to burst forward and cause havoc in and around the penalty area. An accomplished finisher with a decent heading ability and excellent positioning, Coulibaly will need to continue to work on building his physical strength if he is to last in the Premier League.

So far the 20 year-old has already appeared for Spurs in a first team friendly against Stevenage but could soon register his potential when the opportunity presents itself, either in the form of a cup match or pre-season friendly.

Kenneth McEvoy

Not much is known about the young Ken McEvoy other than the fact he looks very similar to former Spurs star Gareth Bale, but there is certainly more to him than that.

For the sake of his career it would be wise of McEvoy to distance himself from these comparisons and focus on his own game. Sadly, he does occupy the same wide position as Bale did in the latter stages of his tenure in England and is even thought to prefer using his left-foot.

Capable of playing on either wing with assurance, McEvoy has demonstrated a good understanding of wing-play with great bursts of acceleration mixed in with close control and methodical ball retention. If anything it would seem the young Irishmen has modelled his game on the famous Welshmen.

In his second year scholarship with the Spurs academy McEvoy scored eight goals, making him the club’s second-highest top scorer in the academy. In an ideal world, McEvoy would get a first team opportunity to satisfy both him and the fan’s appetites, then a loan spell away from all the hype could be the best thing for him.

Nabil Bentaleb

Perhaps the most easily recognised of Spurs’ young protégés, Bentaleb has already become something of a first team player under coach Tim Sherwood. Born in the football-loving French region of Lille, Bentaleb joined Spurs in 2012 and a season later finds himself getting the nod.

The highlight of his Spurs career so far (and perhaps even a regret) was his stunning effort against Crystal Palace which cannoned off the post much to the relief of keeper Julian Speroni. He played the full 90 minutes in his professional debut for the club which could easily be interpreted as his initiation into the first team squad.

The 19 year-old is a great athlete with a seemingly tireless work rate that has earned him so many admirers. With on loan midfielder Jake Livermore unlikely to continue his career at Spurs, the opportunity opens up for Bentaleb to continue where the Englishmen left off and highlight the impressive output of Tottenham’s academy.

Luke McGee

A worthy mention as Spurs seem destined to reshuffle their goalkeepers is Luke McGee, who could so easily deputise Hugo Lloris at Spurs.

Despite the presence of up to four goalkeepers in the Tottenham first team, the chance is there for young McGee to press his advantage, but it is essential that he makes the opportunity count.

With both Heurelho Gomes and Brad Friedel unlikely to be playing for Spurs past this season, the only competition left for McGee to make the bench is Jordan Archer. For Archer the situation is a bit different as first team opportunities are what he needs.

McGee made the most appearances for the Under-18’s last season and really impressed in the NextGen Series against FC Barcelona. His impressive build, reflexes and penalty-saving technique have all stood him in good stead and could see him leap ahead of potential competition. Should Spurs wish to continue using separate goalkeepers in different tournaments, then McGee should be a candidate for consideration.

Milos Veljkovic

With a great deal of hard work and perhaps a bit of luck, Milos Veljkovic could find himself in the Spurs’ first team squad in a short while.

In fact this opportunity could be sooner than first expected with the expected departure of Younes Kaboul next summer. Cool and composed on the ball with fantastic distribution traits and the knack for pinching the ball off strikers toes, Veljkovic is an excellent player in the making.

The reason he deserves this is because he’s not your typical defender. Having previously played in the midfield, Veljkovic has blossomed into a well-rounded ball winner and thusly able to make challenging tackles look easy. This is a quality so often observed with Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva who shows relatively little effort in winning the ball cleanly off attackers. This pedigree makes Serbian a valuable commodity.

If the opportunity is barred, then a loan spell would certainly be favourable to continue his development and demonstrate his variety of abilities. The ease in which he switches from defense to midfield should certainly make him an appealing pick up.

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