Tottenham Hotspur currently have many talented central midfielders on their books, but academy graduate Tom Carroll will be hoping to break into the first-team this season as he continues to develop his game.
Carroll, at 21-years-old, has yet to start a senior match for Spurs although he has made several cameo appearances. He also had a somewhat unsuccessful loan spell at Derby County in 2012, where he made just 12 appearances and managed to score one goal.
However, Carroll did impress during his few appearances from the bench for the Spurs first-team. Under Harry Redknapp he made seven appearances in the cup competitions, but under current head coach Andre Villas Boas, the youngster has made 14 appearances, including seven in the Premier League.
Spurs have sorely missed Luka Modric since his move to Real Madrid, with him being the player who made the team tick. Moussa Dembele was bought as a replacement for the Croatian but is not the same type of player as Modric. Dembele is more of a box-to-box midfielder rather than a playmaker.
Carroll has been likened to Luka Modric in the past and with good reason. He is a small, skilful playmaker with a great first touch, he moves the ball on quickly and efficiently and has the ability to beat a man and score a goal.
Despite his slight build Carroll makes up for this with his balance and his decision making, he also does not shy away from a tackle.
Spurs head coach Villas Boas has a wide range of riches in the centre of the park but must consider the balance of his starting midfield trio.
With midfielders like Paulinho, Sandro, Dembele and Holtby, Spurs have pace and power. But the young Englishman can complement these options by adding a bit of urgency, and the ability to provide the key pass to finish off attacking moves.
Carroll could be the piece of the puzzle that Spurs have been missing.
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