Opinion: Champions League qualification could pose new challenge for young Spurs team

The Premier League season is still far from over with 11 games left for Tottenham, but with Champions League ambitions in mind, let’s take a look at how the team might fair in Europe’s toughest club competition.

Ange Postecoglou‘s Tottenham is unlike the club we’ve seen in recent times, and in part that may be due to the relative youthfulness of the team, amongst many other factors. Across the first team squad, the average age of the players calculate to roughly 25 years-old, making Spurs the fourth youngest club in the Prem behind Burnley, Chelsea, and Arsenal (Football 365).

The potential for the club seems immense. Not only does the team have young faces across the starting XI with Destiny Udogie (21), Micky van de Ven (22), and Dejan Kulusevski (23), but they have deals completed with highly-rated youth prospects like Lucas Bergvall (18) and Luka Vuskovic (17).

Despite the optimism regarding what lies ahead for these young players and their team, it suffices to say that they may run into some steep hurdles on their journey towards stardom. One such hurdle for them to be particularly cognizant of, is a collective lack of experience in the Champions League.

Dressing Room
Photo by SpursWeb

With this looming challenge in mind, here’s a breakdown of every player’s experience in the European competition, across the entire 26-man squad, according to Transfermarkt.

Son Heung-min – 55 appearances

Timo Werner – 43 appearances

Rodrigo Bentancur – 37 appearances

Ben Davies – 27 appearances

Giovani Lo Celso – 18 appearances

Fraser Forster – 16 appearances

Manor Solomon – 16 appearances

Dejan Kulusevski – 15 appearances

Cristian Romero – 14 appearances

Pedro Porro – 13 appearances

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 10 appearances

Emerson Royal – 8 appearances

Richarlison – 6 appearances

Ryan Sessegnon – 6 appearances

Oliver Skipp – 6 appearances

Bryan Gil – 4 appearances

Yves Bissouma – 3 appearances

Radu Dragusin – 1 appearance

Pape Matar Sarr – 1 appearance

Brandon Austin – 0 appearances

Brennan Johnson – 0 appearances

James Maddison – 0 appearances

Destiny Udogie – 0 appearances

Micky van de Ven – 0 appearances

Guglielmo Vicario – 0 appearances

Alfie Whiteman – 0 appearances

Averaging out the appearances across all of the players listed here, we’re left with a rough figure of 11.5 games each. Not bad, right? However, when we look specifically at starters under the age of 25 – again, the average age – we get an average of roughly six appearances per player, with zero appearances for Destiny Udogie, Micky van de Ven and Brennan Johnson.

There are other notable starters as well, even older ones, who have no experience in the Champions League, including Guglielmo Vicario and James Maddison. Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr, two midfield regulars, have just four appearances between them. Tottenham’s number nine, Richarlison, has just six appearances to his name.

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