Kenilworth Road might seem an unlikely hunting ground for Tottenham Hotspur scouts, but the club are becoming increasingly interested in Luton Town’s Tyreeq Bakinson.
It should come as no surprise that the title hopefuls are considering the Hatters’ central midfielder, as Spurs scout and former manager David Pleat has strong links to the club.
Following Alli's footsteps
Spurs' Dele Alli and Manchester United's Chris Smalling has set an example for young players from the lower leagues aspiring to play in the Premier League. In fact, Pleat was heavily involved in bringing Alli to White Hart Lane from MK Dons last year.
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Bakinson, who is just 17, has been particularly prominent in the FA Youth Cup for Luton. They have already offered him a three-and-a-half-year professional contract, but if Spurs come calling, it is unlikely he will remain in League Two.
Despite his youth, he is a huge presence on the field, which is a promising sign if he is to make the step up.
Bakinson would be a great investment for the future, even if he is not yet ready. However, Spurs are cautious about buying youngsters after John Bostock’s well-documented move from Crystal Palace in 2008.
Bostock was expected to go onto great things but spent five years at Tottenham without ever making an appearance. Now at OH Leuven in the Belgian Pro League, his career has picked up, but that is not always certain with young players who are taken on too early by big clubs.
Time to develop
Pleat is keen for Spurs to explicitly express an interest in Bakinson before other clubs are alerted, but it may in fact be worth allowing him more time in League Two.
Alli had the opportunity to leave Milton Keynes a year before he did, but the extra season in the lower leagues has benefited him hugely, physically and in terms of his movement.
If Spurs do make an offer this summer, Bakinson himself could excel at the club because of its youth development programme.
Once the season is over, fans will be eagerly anticipating any moves Spurs make in the transfer window. This is not, perhaps, the one they were expecting, but it is another indication of Mauricio Pochettino’s long-term vision, and that will be received gladly.