Thursday 22 March 2018

Mauricio Pochettino determined to give youth a chance as Tottenham's players report for pre-season training

The Tottenham manager is determined to give younger players such as Josh Onomah, Harry Winks and Kyle Walker-Peters a chance of starring for Tottenham this season

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Tottenham Hotspur players start to return to pre-season training on Monday as Mauricio Pochettino decides who will be part of his squad for Spurs’ first full season at Wembley Stadium.

Spurs depart on their three-match tour of the United States on Wednesday 19 July, giving Pochettino just over two weeks to prepare his players before then.

He is determined to give young players such as Josh Onomah, Harry Winks and Kyle Walker-Peters the best possible chance of making the trip to face Paris Saint Germain, Roma and Manchester City in late July.

Winks has already returned to Spurs’ training centre in Enfield this month as he continues rehabilitation from tearing the medial ligament in his left ankle at Burnley on 1 April.

Three months on from the injury he is not ready quite yet to fully participate in pre-season with the rest of the squad. But he is stepping up his rehab and hopes to integrate into full squad activities as soon as possible, preferably in time for the trip to the US.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who missed the European Under-21 Championship through his injury, hopes to be back in first team contention in August.

Winks wants to build on his impressive break-through season last year, when he made 33 appearances, 12 from the start, before his ankle injury at Turf Moor. Spurs start their Premier League campaign at Newcastle United on 12 August, six weeks from Saturday.

Tottenham will also welcome back on Monday two youngsters who were part of England’s winning time at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea just a few weeks ago.

Josh Onomah and Kyle Walker-Peters were both part of Paul Simpson’s side, who beat Venezuela 1-0 in the final in Suwon on 11 June.

Just three weeks on, Onomah and Walker-Peters will be back in training from Monday morning. Like Winks, they are of the generation of youngsters who Pochettino has never loaned out because he would prefer to coach them himself rather than let other managers coach them.

Spurs have said no to loaning Onomah out so far this summer but it remains to be seen if their stance will change later in the transfer window.

Pochettino has seen Onomah as a wide player, rather than a box-to-box midfielder, meaning that if Moussa Sissoko and Georges Kevin N’Koudou move on then there could be more opportunities for Onomah in the first team squad.

Onomah turned 20 two months ago and is eager to player more football this season than he did last year. He only made 12 appearances, and just three starts, for Pochettino’s first team last season.

Marcus Edwards, Spurs’ brilliant 18-year-old midfielder, will not be part of pre-season next week though. He is heading to Georgia to be part of the England squad for the European Under-19 Championship which starts this Sunday.

(© Independent News Service)

Independent News Service

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