Spurs spotlight: Souleymane Coulibaly


The signing of Souleymane Coulibaly went under the radar this summer, but it could have been the best piece of business Harry Redknapp managed to produce.

A 17-year-old striker dubbed 'the next Didier Drogba', Coulibaly moved to north London from Siena after a stunning FIFA U17 World Cup display for the Ivory Coast.

He scored nine goals in four matches for his country, including a hat-trick against Brazil and four against Denmark.

His progression in the capital hasn't been bad either, scoring a goal on his first appearance for a Spurs XI against Brighton in July.

A regular scorer for the youth team, Coulibaly hit the winner in the FA Youth Cup clash against Stevenage in December, and also struck twice in the 7-1 NextGen Series win over Inter Milan back in August.

Having played regularly in the competition, Coulibaly has emerged as one of the shining lights in a tournament that pits the best young players against each other from across Europe. Spurs won their group, which contained Sporting Lisbon, and now face Liverpool in the quarter-final of the competition.

The match will represent the teenager's first appearance at White Hart Lane, if included in the squad on February 1st.

It's perhaps the young striker's ability at senior level which has been most impressive though, with the stocky powerhouse of a striker scoring again for the 'XI' in today's 3-2 defeat to Leyton Orient.

Goals against a Birmingham XI and QPR XI in recent months have also raised his profile amongst supporters at least, although Harry Redknapp resisted the urge to test the African youngster in this season's Europa League fixtures.

Tottenham's track record of developing young talent isn't the best though, with 20-year-old John Bostock yet to make an impression after signing in 2008, whilst Adel Taarabt failed to fulfil his potential after his move to the club in 2007.

All signs suggest that Coulibaly is a little bit special though, a rare talent that Spurs have been smart to snap-up at such a young age. If Redknapp, Tim Sherwood, Les Ferdinand & Co can keep him on the right track, then his future looks incredibly bright.

As for the first team? Don't expect to see him involved at any point this season, but a League Cup chance next term would seem like the least you would expect for the talented teen.

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