As Tottenham fans wait expectantly throughout the summer to hear the name of the next player sign for the club, some of the younger players must be questioning their future at Spurs.
Five of the younger players will regard this season as crucial to the further development of their careers. Having secured a place in the Tottenham first team squad, they will want to make sure they take steps to become a regular in the team.
Full-backs Danny Rose and Kyle Naughton, central defender Steven Caaulker, midfielder Tom Carroll and winger Andros Townsend know that they must make that breakthrough in the coming season if they are to have a future at White Hart Lane.Danny Rose
Having had an impressive season on loan with Sunderland, Rose will want to ensure he gets an opportunity to show that he can produce the same form at Tottenham. This year he will not be satisfied to sit on the bench awaiting an occasional opportunity afforded by an injury to a colleague. The speculation of Tottenham interest in a couple of full-backs will cause him concern and at 23 years of age he will regard it as time for him to be appearing regularly in the Premier League. Will it be with Spurs?
Naughton took the same route as Rose by enjoying a season with Norwich in 2011-12. His experience with Spurs last year was less successful as mostly he had to cope with playing on the left of the defence. He failed to stake a claim for the left-back spot during Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s injury enforced absence in the first half of the season with Jan Vertonghen frequently moving across from central defence. Naturally right-footed, he found it difficult to adapt to the left and at times was caught in possession as he tried to play the ball with his favoured foot. With BAE still at the Lane, Rose returning to White Hart Lane and talk of signing an additional left-back where does that leave Naughton?Steven Caulker
A product of the Spurs Academy, Caulker benefited from the loan system working his way up through the lower leagues to a season with Swansea in their first season in the Premier League. Impressive performances with the Welsh club saw him return to Spurs but rather than step into the team last August, he started on the bench and it was only after injuries in defence and the use of Vertonghen at left-back which enabled him to make it into the team regularly. In that period he made a scoring debut for England but from the beginning of January and Michael Dawson’s return to favour, he was used less frequently.
He starts the new season in a similar position to last year. William Gallas has left but with Younes Kaboul returning to fitness, there will be three players vying for a place beside automatic choice, Vertonghen. Like all of the younger players, Caulker needs regular football but Spurs will be reluctant to let him leave for another Premier League club.
Carroll has the least experience in the Premier League with only occasional short spells as a substitute. He has impressed when given the opportunity to start in the team in the Cup competitions and in the Europa League and although slightly built Carroll displays a confidence on the ball and an eye for a pass. He is always looking to take up a position where he can receive the ball and be involved in the game.
The arrival of Paulinho increases the competition for places in midfield so how can Carroll gain more experience? Will this be the season for Tom to go out on loan to get regular game time with a Championship or Premier League team?Andros Townsend
Having had limited opportunities in the opening months of last season, Townsend spent the rest of the season with Queen’s Park Rangers. He had shown promise in any opportunities in the Cup and European games for Spurs but up against Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale there was little chance of a run in the team. At Loftus Road, with a regular place in the team, he was impressive in a team battling unsuccessfully to avoid relegation. Townsend’s performances were one of the few highlights in the QPR team in the second half of the season.
Having enjoyed the experience of Premier League football, Townsend will want to build on that but he will need patience especially if reports of Tottenham’s interest in the Belgian winger, Nacer Chadli, prove to accurate.
What Does the Season Hold?
It is always very difficult for young players to become established in the Premier League especially with the top teams. How will the coming season pan out for Tottenham young hopefuls? Will some of them need to leave White Hart Lane to get regular football in order to further their careers?
- I could see Naughton moving before the end of the transfer window if a new full-back is signed.
- Rose may take the early months of the season to see if he can get established in the team but if he doesn’t he may look to move on in January.
- Caulker will want to play but Spurs will want to retain all four central defenders to cover for injuries so he is likely to start the season at White Hart Lane.
- Like Naughton, Caulker and Rose, having experienced playing in the Premier League, Townsend will want to build on last season’s successful period with QPR. This could be his last opportunity to make an impression with Spurs having been around for some time.
- Tom Carroll may have a season away from the Lane in order to build on his past limited experience. An exciting prospect, he needs more time on the pitch to further his experience and show that he can do it regularly.
Whatever happens for these young players, this is a crucial season for them as they look to develop their careers.