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Notts County John Bostock celebrates promotion during the Vanarama National League Play-Off Final between Chesterfield and Notts County at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 13th May 2023.

7 former Tottenham players we can’t believe are still playing in 2023

Tottenham have been through tons of players over the past 20 years and there are some former Spurs men you’ll be surprised are still playing professionally in 2023.

Whether they’re cult heroes or players who barely scratched the surface at White Hart Lane, all of these have continued playing for a long time after leaving Tottenham. They’re clearly doing something right.

Here are seven former Spurs men we can’t believe are still going now.

Paulinho

One of the ill-fated bunch signed to replace Gareth Bale in 2013, Paulinho only flickered at Spurs during his two-year spell and was offloaded to Guangzhou Evergrande when China was the Saudi Arabia of its day.

Amazingly, the Brazil midfielder turned up at Barcelona in 2017. While many remember him failing to do keep-ups on the Camp Nou pitch at his unveiling, Paulinho was one of Barca’s key players as they won the domestic double during his only season in Spain.

Now 35, he returned to Brazil last year and has played for Corinthians ever since.

Nacer Chadli

Another arrival during the Bale-trolley dash summer of 2013, Chadli scored 25 times in 119 Spurs appearances despite the feeling that he was never quite suited to life at one of the Premier League’s Big Six.

Having left for West Brom in 2016, the Belgium international stayed at The Hawthorns until the Baggies’ relegation two years later before departing for Monaco.

His arrival in the principality coincided with Monaco fighting against the drop, meaning Chadli was loaned out to Anderlecht after the club’s underwhelming season.

A spell at Istanbul Baskasehir followed, before Chadli returned to Belgium with Westerlo at the age of 34 this summer.

John Bostock

Bostock made his senior Crystal Palace debut at the age of just 15, leading to a move to Tottenham a year later.

But the attacking midfielder never settled at Spurs and was loaned out five times before eventually departing permanently for Royal Antwerp.

He would go on to join Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse in July 2018, just six months after joining Bursaspor on a two-and-a-half-year contract, before moving to Doncaster Rovers in January 2021.

He left that summer following their relegation to League Two, and now plays for Notts County, who he helped return to the Football League last season.

Now 31, Bostock is a classy player at League Two level but we cannot neglect to mention his failed Panenka in the National League play-off final in May…

Reto Ziegler

After just a season in the first team as a teenager, Ziegler was loaned out to Hamburg and never really made it back.

After leaving Spurs in 2007, the left-back spent most of his peak years at Sampdoria. He then weirdly spent four years with Juventus but didn’t play for them once, getting sent out on loan to Lokomotiv Moscow, Fenerbahce and Sassuolo instead. We can’t rule out any financial shenanigans there.

Now, after a spell in MLS with FC Dallas, he’s back in his native Switzerland with Sion.

Tom Huddlestone

Not only is Huddlestone still playing football, he’s playing for Manchester United. No, really.

To be honest, saying the midfielder plays for United is something of a half-truth; Huddlestone is a player-coach at Old Trafford, helping with the club’s youngsters, and is registered as an overage player for PL2 and Papa John’s Trophy matches.

“By working with the other coaches, he has been able to pass on his experience to the club’s youngsters, even during some matches when taking to the field,” a United statement this summer read confirming Huddlestone will stay another year in the role.

“The experienced midfielder will continue to create various unique development opportunities for United’s academy players by coaching from within training sessions and driving daily standards on and off the pitch.

“Tom will continue to further his coaching skills, working alongside academy experts, to deliver an excellent programme for our players. As well as being a full England international, he has also represented Derby County, Tottenham, Wolves and Hull City in the past.”

 

Federico Fazio

Blessed with the turning circle of an oil tanker, Fazio just wasn’t cut out for English football and was sent off on both his Premier League and European debuts for Spurs.

Bundled out on loans to Sevilla and Roma, the Argentina international joined the latter on a permanent deal in 2017 after three years on Spurs’ books.

Fazio was actually successful in the Italian capital, making 169 appearances over five seasons, before moving to Salernitana in January 2022. At the age of 36, that’s where he remains to this day.

Lewis Holtby

Holtby is not even that old at 32, but it feels like an age since he was the bright young thing joining Spurs from Schalke.

He’d already won three Germany caps at that point, but his spell in north London was forgettable and things didn’t improve much across town at Fulham.

After a few years at Blackburn, the midfielder joined Holstein Kiel in 2021 and is still there, playing semi-regularly in the 2. Bundesliga.


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