One of the things that Tottenham have done well in recent years is to update the academy every now and then with talented young players from other clubs. Looks like they’ll be adding another good player here soon. According to Basildon Canvi’s Southend Echo (hereinafter referred to as BCSE), Tottenham are close to signing 17-year-old left-back Charlie Sayers from the National League side Southend United.
Sayers is clearly not a household name, but he has had six appearances (including four starts) for Southend this season and has spent the past two weeks on trial at Tottenham. He is a former captain of the Southend youth academy side, and even captained the Tottenham Under-18 team in a final match this week.
This is clearly a good sign, as with this (short) report from BCSE – it is not at all uncommon for regional newspapers to get the scoop on news of fewer or irregular teams long before national newspapers. Southend manager Phil Brown (remember him from his Hull City days?) also told Sayers to have a bright future in quotes given earlier in the season.
“I think Charlie Sayers has been fantastic and you have to say he has a career ahead of him, no doubt about that. He’s got two games under his belt now, but would he make mistakes when he was 17? Absolutely. But on Tuesday he had a team that was protect him on Tuesday.
“Charlie has set a great example of what this club has been like over the last 10 years and he’s decent young players. I haven’t always taken advantage of that because we’ve always sold them but as far as Charlie is concerned, his dad takes care of him and he’s a shout-out.
“He doesn’t have an agent and he’s also a great shout out so all he has is the manager’s voice in his ear and hopefully he’s here for a long time.”
Sorry about that, Phil!
Player development is a crapshoot, of course. There is clearly no guarantee that Sayers will ever turn into Tottenham’s next left-back, let alone any time soon. However, that’s what good academies do – they look for high-quality young talent from the lower leagues and mobilize them for the chance of being able to make The Leap. Sayers sounds like a catch, from an ability and leadership perspective, and I’d be interested to see what he can do going forward (assuming he’s caught).