Search

Inside Lane: Four Spurs young stars who are in line for promotion under Sherwood

07:45 09 January 2014

Nabil Bentaleb

Nabil Bentaleb

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Tottenham blogger Chris Miller expects that Nabil Bentaleb, Milos Veljkovic, Harry Kane and Tom Carroll will get more first-team opportunities now that Tim Sherwood has replaced Andre Villas-Boas as head coach.

At the end of October I wrote an article in this column bemoaning the lack of opportunities for the likes of Nabil Bentaleb and Milos Veljkovic under our previous head coach, Andre Villas-Boas.

Just a couple of months on, Bentaleb started in the centre of our midfield away at Arsenal under the new man, Tim Sherwood - and Veljkovic has also been seen on the bench for the first time in his Tottenham career, as Sherwood has shown faith in the young talent that he oversaw until recent events transpired.

Nineteen-year-old Bentaleb’s performance against Arsenal gave fans a glimpse of what he is about; economical in possession - attempting more passes (82) than any player on the pitch, at a better completion rate (93%) - but with a hot-headedness that he needs to cut out of his game.

He did not push forward as much as he has done for the Under-21 side, but that was down to the role in which he was deployed.

With Sandro injured and Etienne Capoue not fit enough to play from the start, Bentaleb was the designated holding player and so rarely ventured into the final third.

Eighteen-year-old Serbian Veljkovic is next in line for a promotion to the first team. The talented centre-back, who often played in central midfield for the Under-21s under Sherwood, has been on the bench twice recently (against West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City). And, with Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen still out injured, he will more than likely get an opportunity to make his debut in the near future.

Alongside these two, I would anticipate that Tom Carroll (who is expected to be recalled from his loan at QPR) and Harry Kane will be more involved under Sherwood.

The quartet were lynchpins for the Under-21s, and shone at that level. Kane and Carroll developed a wonderful understanding, playing some superb one and-two touch football, whilst Bentaleb and Veljkovic took to the tempo of the Under-21 Premier League very quickly for such young players.

While the four of them boast very different physiques, temperaments and styles, they all have one thing in common - excellent technique. All four are capable of getting the ball down and playing in an unfussy, unhurried and progressive way.

Kane is seen by many as a target man based purely on his height, but he is actually best suited to playing as a No10 - think of him as a modern-day Teddy Sheringham, who likes to play quick, clever passes around the edge of the box.

While Bentaleb played as a holding midfielder against Arsenal, where he was mostly asked to keep the ball ticking over, he has a very capable left foot and an accomplished range of passing.

Carroll, as we know, likes to keep the ball (and himself) moving quickly and to play triangles around the opposition midfield, and Veljkovic is very capable of carrying the ball out of defence and being a playmaker from the back line.

While many were sad to see Villas-Boas depart, the appointment of Sherwood will have brought smiles to the faces of these young players, who should now find themselves far more involved.

Follow me on Twitter @WindyCOYS

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 16:47
Scott Shulton (left) in action for Hendon during manager Gary McCann's testimonial match against a QPR XI at Earlsmead. Pic: Refuel Performance Management

Gary McCann was hailed as “the best man-manager around” following his thrilling testimonial against a QPR XI last night.

Yesterday, 19:00
North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll hit 60 and then took three wickets. Pic: Paolo Minoli

North Middlesex slipped to third in the table, dropping 14 points behind the leaders after falling agonisingly short of a victory at Southgate in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Yesterday, 17:15
Hampstead Ladies captain Francisca Hall. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead Ladies have kept themselves busy through the ‘off season’ by participating in a series of sevens tournaments – including fielding two full squads in the popular Summer Social competition in Richmond.

Yesterday, 12:25
James Franklin

It seems to be that time of the season when counties are trying to take some pressure off their main venues, and that gives us the chance to play at a few outgrounds.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder