Tottenham Hotspur FC Finish Fifth, but What’s Next?


After a 1-0 win over Everton this past Sunday, Tottenham have secured a Europa League spot for next season by finishing fifth in the table. It is the clubs highest finish since the 2012-13 season — when the club also finished fifth.

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Although Mauricio Pochettino had some words regarding European competition, Spurs will be back in the Europa League once again. It will be Spurs 13th appearance in the Second tier of Europe.

Despite what Pochettino has said, it’s actually good to play in European competitions if you can qualify.

"“If you achieve the Europa League, it might not be the dream of the club or the supporters but you need to play it because it is good for the financial side of the club.”— Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur manager"

It’s true, even with a congested schedule — domestic competitions plus European competitions — the financial income gained would help out in the long term. However there’s another reason why European competitions are good for any club; being able to start players from your youth academy. For Tottenham this has been true and one reason why they finished fifth.

The one player who took the Europa League to heart and ran with it when given playing time was Harry Kane. Not only did he score 7 goals for Spurs he led the team in goals. Because of his performance he was given the lone striker position and started regularly by November. Since then he hasn’t looked back.

Who could be the next Harry Kane?

Out of Tottenham’s youth academy, the one who’s been getting the most attention is Alex Pritchard who is on loan at Championship side Brentford.

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His stats this season (including playoffs): 45 appearances, 12 goals, 7 assists and 86 chances created.

An attacking midfielder, Pritchard would be fighting for a spot with starter Christian Eriksen among the starting XI. At first glance, he may or may not beat out Eriksen but then again that’s what the Europa League would be used for. It’ll be the best way to prove to the club if Pritchard belongs with the Lilywhites — by facing good teams in Europe’s second tier competition.

Should he get brought back to the club, Brentford’s manager who has seen the 22-year old excel during this season’s loan spell said it best.

"“I think Alex goes on to grace White Hart Lane. He’s got so much ability and he’s hungry for more…  he is a very bright, young British talent. I think he will play at the very highest level, I really do. He has that edge to his game.”— Mark Warburton Brentford manager via the Guardian"

If Alex Pritchard does start for Spurs and makes an impact just like Harry Kane did this season, then Tottenham may have unearthed another young star player to keep for the future and possibly help guide the club to a top four finish once again — for the third time in club history.

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