Who is…the Spurs teenager that reminds Pochettino of Messi?

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In the midst of a seven-game run in 22 days, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is expected to rotate his squad for the EFL Cup clash against Gillingham. After his pre-match comments, all eyes will be on one youngster in particular.

Despite not yet making his senior debut for the Lilywhites, Marcus Edwards has clearly done plenty to impress his Argentine boss, who went as far as to liken the 17-year-old to one of his country’s best ever players, Lionel Messi.

“Well, Marcus Edwards, he is still 17 years old. The qualities – it’s only looks, his body and the way that he plays, [we] remember a little bit from the beginning of Messi” the manager said.

“He is a very good prospect and, potentially, he can be a top player but we need to be patient and tell him that he has a lot of talent, enough talent to be a top player, a great player, but now it’s how he builds his future – that’s very important.”

After words like that it may be tough to keep Edwards’ feet on the ground, especially as the academy player already had the nickname “Mini Messi” before Pochettino’s comparison went public.

As an attacking midfielder that glides past players with a drop of the shoulder, the wider footballing world will soon see where those Messi links come from, with Edwards expected to be including among the substitutes against the Gills.

Along with the England U18 international, who has been at Tottenham since the age of eight and signed a two-year professional contract in the summer, Cameron Carter-Vickers is expected to make his debut in defence.

Pochettino also reserved some words of praise for the centre-back, saying:

“For me, he can be one of the best centre-backs in England in the future. He has a strong mentality and all the qualities for playing centre-back.”

With prospects like these among the squad, it’s easy to see why Spurs remain 2/13 favourites for victory at White Hart Lane.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.