Big test awaiting Ashley Phillips as he leaves Tottenham on loan

Spurs picked up English youngster Ashley Phillips this past summer from EFL Championship side Blackburn Rovers, and now the player will be returning to the league in hopes of getting more playing time.
Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League / Bryn Lennon/GettyImages

Tottenham were busy during the summer transfer window bringing in the likes of James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, and Guglielmo Vicario, players who have shined in their first few months at the club. Others like Ashley Phillips, however, have slipped under the radar, getting minimal opportunity to showcase their talents on the pitch.

Phillips, an 18-year-old English international, was a prospective purchase for Ange and company to make. With height, pace, and years of potential ahead of him, the £2m move was an insightful one for Tottenham to complete.

Nevertheless, even with all of the defensive woes Ange has experienced thus far, the shortage of center-backs was never enough to warrant significant time out on the pitch for the player. Now, it seems the club have a remedy for that: a short-term loan spell.

During Phillips' time with his former team, he made eight appearances, and now he'll look to build on that with a return to Championship action. Plymouth Argyle, the club he will stay at for the remainder of the season, currently sit 18th in the table. As the team struggles to remain afloat in England's second division, they're on the lookout for inexpensive and talented players like Phillips to make the difference in a potential relegation battle.

The challenge for the young player will now be to not only return to the form he had before he made the move to North London, but blow past it. It's been months since Phillips has gotten any real game time, so he'll have to go off the training he's received from Ange and the staff at Tottenham.

However, as an on and off player at Blackburn Rovers, the youngster is accustomed to dealing with irregular minutes, and because of that he'll have a good shot at coping with the move.

The hope for the club and fans alike will be that Phillips can get some regular minutes for the remainder of the season and hopefully return this summer with some level of positive development indicative of his ability to play at the highest level of football. It's fair to say that one short-term loan spell may not be long enough to determine if the defender has what it takes to make it into Ange's squad, but it's certainly a step forward in his long term development plans.