Newcastle United are being linked with Tottenham Hotspur’s Alex Pritchard with Magpies’ manager, Rafa Benítez, hoping to the sign the young midfielder ahead of next season.
Alex Prtichard still has yet to play any meaningful first team football after re-injuring his ankle early last season against Everton, when he came on with five minutes left to play in a 0-0 draw. It’s been a nagging injury that he initially picked up during an England Under-21 European Championship group stage match against Sweden exactly one year ago: June 21, 2015.
Since that time, Pritchard has been working his way back to full fitness but still has yet to obtain some form of playing time that he has been desperate for ever since a magnificent 2014-15 season-long loan spell with Championship side, Brentford.
It was a campaign filled with a lot of promise that a then-21-year-old Alex Pritchard would indeed become the heir apparent to Christian Eriksen, after scoring 12 goals and notching seven assists in 47 appearances in all competitions.
To make things even more compelling that Tottenham had a truly talented young attacking midfielder in their youth ranks, was that with Pritchard’s help the Bees almost reached promotion to the Premier League before falling just short in the Championship Play-offs, losing to Middlesbrough in both legs, to a tune of a 5-1 aggregate score.
No doubt it’s the potential that Alex Pritchard has within him. It’s no secret that even at the age of 23 and only managing four appearances split between Tottenham and West Bromwich Albion, the Spurs midfielder is a creative playmaker who is also adept at playing on the left wing/midfield.
Based on the video from above, clearly it’s all highlights detailing what he did during his time with Brentford two seasons ago, as this was the last time Alex Pritchard played a full season of football. But it shows what he’s capable of.
And now that Pritchard should be fully recovered from his ankle injury that has kept him out of action for a year, more or less, there’s no reason why he can’t replicate a sliver of that 2014-15 season this year with Tottenham. Or wherever he winds up on another loan or a permanent transfer.
Besides, with Tony Pulis, West Brom’s manager, only giving him three substitution appearances because he didn’t want to rush the Tottenham midfielder back into action due to a lack of match fitness while on on loan to the Baggies. There should be no reason why he isn’t 100 percent healthy now after not playing football for so long. He’ll just be rusty is all.
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“Alex has come in and has tremendous talent,” Pulis said after speculation arose on why Alex Pritchard wasn’t getting any playing time with West Brom (via The Birmingham Mail).
“He was injured at Tottenham for a long time so it’s just making sure — and I think Tottenham are concerned we don’t push him too quickly too soon.”
“The last thing they want is the kid to get injured again so it’s just about being patient with Alex as much as anything else.”
“He’s trained well, he’s worked well and he’s desperate to be involved.”
“But sometimes you have to hold them back and we have a responsibility to Tottenham for that.”
With the Premier League’s summer transfer window set to open on July 1st, Mauricio Pochettino’s pre-season training should begin soon. Giving the Argentine manager plenty of time to decide on what to do with Alex Pritchard.
Dele Alli is Tottenham’s central attacking midfielder with Son Heung-Min playing as the backup because Christian Eriksen is playing as a left midfielder.
Technically speaking, because Pritchard can play both midfield positions: wide and inside, the 23-year-old can easily slot into Pochettino’s rotation while still retaining four creative players on the squad: Alli, Eriksen, Son and Pritchard.
There’s no need to sell him even though it appears as though Spurs have plenty of attacking midfielders on the team — the three mentioned above just now.
And with three years left on Alex Pritchard’s current contract, being relatively young, having plenty of potential and able to play outside giving Pochettino’s offense some width, Pritchard’s time with Tottenham’s first team hasn’t ended just yet. It should only just begin this summer.