15 Spurs academy graduates playing elsewhere in Europe’s top leagues

Quick Reads

Tottenham have seen a number of exciting prospects progress to their first team over the years – but a number of others have instead bolstered teams around Europe.

Harry Kane is currently Tottenham’s poster boy, while Harry Winks is established in the first team and Troy Parrott another supporters have high hopes for Troy.

We’ve taken a look at every former Spurs academy player currently playing elsewhere in Europe’s major leagues in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.

David Martin

Martin originally played as a defender in Tottenham’s academy before becoming a goalkeeper. He moved to Wimbledon as a 17-year-old and made his senior debut after the club had relocated to Milton Keynes.

It looked as if Spurs may regret allowing Martin to leave when he signed for Liverpool in 2006, only for him to fail to make a first-team appearance at Anfield.

After spending the majority of his career in League One, Martin recently made his Premier League debut at the age of 33 after West Ham realised Spanish stopper Roberto was an absolute sh*tshow.

David Button

He may have a name which looks a lot like former Southampton and Leeds United midfielder David Prutton, but he’s actually Brighton’s second-choice goalkeeper, having been sent on loan 13 (thirteen!) times by Tottenham.

Yuri Berchiche

After coming through the Basque academies of both Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao, Berchiche moved to Tottenham’s academy in 2007, but his only experience of first-team football in England came via a loan at Cheltenham Town.

The left-back returned to Spain, working his way up from the lower divisions with Real Union and Eibar before becoming a regular in La Liga with Real Sociedad.

His form for Sociedad earned him a move to PSG, but he returned to the Basque Country after a season to join Athletic Bilbao, which was obviously reported by Gloucestershire Live as ‘Former Cheltenham Town loanee Yuri Berchiche leaves Paris Saint-Germain for Athletic Bilbao’.

Ryan Fredericks

We’re not quite sure how this has happened, but Fredericks is somehow a 27-year-old professional footballer with almost 200 senior appearances to his name, four of which came for Tottenham in the Europa League.

The right-back is best known for helping Fulham win promotion to the Premier League, only to immediately join West Ham, where he has been bogged down by the whole ‘playing for West Ham’ thing.

William Troost-Ekong

On the books of both Fulham and Tottenham as a youngster, Troost-Ekong was born to Nigerian and Dutch parents and ultimately made his senior football in Holland with Groningen.

Having represented both countries at youth level, the defender now has 41 caps for Nigeria to his name and plays his club football in Serie A with Udinese.

Milos Veljkovic

Signed as a 15-year-old from Basel, Veljkovic managed to make three first-team appearances for Spurs and played a handful of games in the Championship on loan at Middlesbrough and Charlton.

The Serbian left in 2016 to join Werder Bremen, despite being offered a new deal at White Hart Lane, but he still cherishes the opportunity he was given to train alongside the likes of Luka Modric.

“His technical skills and his calm on the ball were incredible, I have not trained with a better player so far,” Veljkovic told Goal in 2018.

Adam Smith

Bournemouth right-back.

Charlie Daniels

Bournemouth left-back.

Andros Townsend

Having joined Tottenham at the age of eight, Townsend was briefly released at 15 only to be re-signed after the youth coaches who had allowed him to be let go had left the club themselves.

The winger was sent out on loan nine times before making almost 100 appearances for his boyhood club, breaking into the England team in that time.

Townsend can now be found scoring occasional thunderb*stards for Crystal Palace, while he clearly retains affection for Spurs, visiting their new ground as a fan to take in their Champions League tie with Manchester City last season.

Nabil Bentaleb

Tim Sherwood’s greatest success, although he would claim that was Harry Kane, Bentaleb burst onto the scene in December 2013 and remained a regular in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season in charge before gradually falling out of favour and jumping ship for Schalke.

“I got injured and when I came back, I wanted to play so bad that I had some arguments (with Pochettino),” Bentaleb told The Independent in February. “I was a little bit frustrated, and I was learning basically. Being on the bench is a learning curve.

“I know I made mistakes. But they helped me learn, as a man. And they don’t stop me from sleeping at night. And if I was 24 right now, and I had been at Tottenham, I don’t think I would make the same mistakes.

“I would be a hypocrite to say that I would not like to be there, and I am not a hypocrite. But this is football.”

The midfielder is back in the Premier League thanks to a loan move to Newcastle United.

Reece Oxford

Oxford is known as one of West Ham’s most exciting academy graduates, but he was actually on the books at Spurs before moving to the Hammers.

Despite growing up as an Arsenal fan, Oxford joined Spurs academy but was released in 2011. Four years later, he had broken into West Ham’s senior squad and become the club’s youngest ever player.

“I was at Tottenham for a while, but they did not want me, and I went to West Ham, which was the best option for me,” Oxford said after starring on his Premier League debut against Arsenal. “I was a striker back then [at Spurs].”

After failing to progress as expected in east London, Oxford is now in the Bundesliga with Augsburg.

Nya Kirby

A member of England’s Under-17 World Cup-winning squad, Kirby left Tottenham that year to join Crystal Palace, but his only experience of senior football to date came on loan at Blackpool last season.

Keanan Bennetts

Bennetts is one of a number of young English players to chance their arm and move to Germany in search of first-team football, joining Borussia Monchengladbach in 2018.

“The Premier League was not a specific goal of mine,” he said. “If you live in England, the goal is mostly the Premier League, but I just wanted to become a professional. If such a possibility arises, you have to take it.”

Injuries have so far disrupted the forward’s development in Germany, meaning he is yet to make his senior debut for Gladbach.

Ismail Azzaoui

Signed from Anderlecht, Azzaoui spent just a solitary season in Tottenham’s academy before joining Wolfsburg.

The Belgian winger has played just twice in Bundesliga after missing the entirety of 2018-19 due to a serious knee injury.

Reo Griffiths

Griffiths left Tottenham around the same time as Keanan Bennetts, swapping London for Ligue 1 to join Lyon.

The 19-year-old striker remains waiting for his first-team debut in France, although time his on his side having penned a deal until 2022.

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