Mauricio Pochettino took charge of Tottenham Hotspur last summer with one big challenge - qualify for the Champions League - but part of the reason he was ultimately selected as Spurs boss by Daniel Levy was because of his ethos of promoting youth.
After the White Hart Lane club spent £30 million on building a new training ground at Bull’s Cross and ploughing millions into their academy system, youth was clearly very much a part of the club’s plans going forward.
Over the previous ten to fifteen years, the number of Premiership class players to come through the youth system could be counted on one hand. Ledley King stands out, and there are a few ex-Spurs currently in the Premiership, including Burnley’s Dean Marney, Steven Caulker at Queens Park Rangers and Hull’s Jake Livermore. Beyond that, you have to go back to the days of Stephen Carr and Ian Walker to see home grown talent making the grade.
Next generation will get platform to shine
The club has signed plenty of young talent and developed them, ranging from Michael Carrick and Jermain Defoe to Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and currently Danny Rose, but the flow of players of a quality good enough to match Levy’s ambitions has turned from a trickle to a river.
Caulker, Andros Townsend and Ryan Mason were part of the first wave of a new, improved generation, the latter two now fully established first team members under Pochettino. They have been joined by Harry Kane and Nail Bentaleb, and here are the top five candidates to follow in their footsteps.
Spurs fans should be hugely encouraged about the next generation coming through to fight for a place in the first-team squad, because much like at Southampton their Argentine boss has shown that if youngsters prove they're ready he will give them a chance at White Hart Lane in the years to come.
Click ahead to find out five names you should definitely keep an eye moving forward, including a teenager tentatively compared to Juventus star Paul Pogba!
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