Harry Kane’s latest departure dropped at an finish the striker’s prolonged affiliation with Tottenham Hotspur, with the England skipper having joined the membership in his early teenagers, earlier than rising as much as develop into the primary man at N17.
Whereas maybe not a real one-club man anyway attributable to his prior mortgage spells within the decrease leagues, earlier than his transfer to Bayern Munich the 30-year-old had been certainly one of few gamers within the trendy period to have spent their whole profession on the books on the similar membership.
Though the prolific marksman stays the main scorer within the membership’s historical past, the truth that he opted to maneuver on elsewhere might have considerably soured his standing as a real membership legend, with Spurs supporters having been stung by ‘certainly one of their very own’.
For all of the magic moments that Kane produced in Lilywhite, he maybe falls brief with regard to cult hero standing, one thing which one other famed academy graduate, Ledley King, undisputedly holds.
How good was Ledley King?
Just like the aforementioned Kane, the now-retired defender additionally started life within the academy ranks at White Hart Lane earlier than forcing his approach into the first-team set-up within the late Nineteen Nineties, ultimately happening to develop into a mainstay of the aspect till his retirement in 2012.
Whereas memorably tormented by harm, the dominant centre-back was a very elegant operator when he was match and out there, with former teammate Darren Bent having mentioned of his skills within the latest previous:
“So many gamers would ask the query all through the week, is Ledley going to be match since you at all times felt when he was on the pitch, and positively when he was in that partnership with Jonathan Woodgate, you’d go we’ve bought an opportunity in the present day.
‘It was simply lead by instance, defend correctly, by no means get himself at risk, at all times snug on the ball. If he didn’t have the accidents that he had, he would’ve been among the finest this nation’s seen.”
What number of appearances did Ledley King make for Tottenham?
As Bent alluded to, King was undoubtedly an actual chief for the membership after taking up the captain’s armband in 2005, making certain he stays the final Spurs skipper – alongside Robbie Keane – to have held a trophy aloft, following the membership’s League Cup success in 2008.
Though a swift retirement would observe simply 4 years later for the then-31-year-old attributable to harm, that comparatively brief profession didn’t affect the centre-back’s legendary standing, as he bowed out with 323 appearances to his title in all competitions.
Merely “among the finest” who had “all the pieces in abundance” – in response to compatriot Andy Cole – King was a very gifted defender when in his pomp, with Spurs more likely to be fortunate to be graced with such a exceptional academy expertise once more.
That being mentioned, nevertheless, one such thrilling centre-back might nicely now be rising to probably emulate the previous England worldwide, within the type of teenage sensation, Alfie Dorrington.
Who’s Alfie Dorrington?
A summer time of change noticed present boss Ange Postecoglou oversee one thing of a mass clearout, with the defensive unit, specifically, having been considerably gutted following the departures of Japhet Tanganga, Joe Rodon and Davinson Sanchez.
With Eric Dier additionally out within the chilly at current, that has left little depth behind the first-choice pairing of Micky van de Ven and Cristian Romero, notably with long-serving asset Ben Davies wanted to additionally cowl at left-back.
That has ensured that summer time signing Ashley Phillips has rocketed up the pecking order regardless of nonetheless being solely 18, whereas it will not be too lengthy earlier than younger Dorrington can be making his mark within the first-team fold, having been hailed by journalist Alasdair Gold as “one of the vital thrilling centre-back prospects to emerge from Spurs’ academy in years”.
That seems to be a viewpoint that’s shared by the powers that be at N17, with the towering 18-year-old having solely lately signed a brand new contract till the summer time of 2016 – after beforehand being described as a ‘commanding central defender‘ by the membership’s official web site.
As Gold has additionally famous, it will not be too lengthy earlier than an opportunity within the senior set-up does emerge for the potential King inheritor, with the soccer.london reporter lately stating:
“Alfie Dorrington can be pushing his claims to have extra first workforce involvement. And if there’s a centre-back harm or two then he would possibly simply discover himself among the many first workforce subs. He’s a terrific younger defender.”
How good is Alfie Dorrington?
The England U19 worldwide has helped Spurs’ U21 aspect to safe six successive wins from their opening six video games of the brand new Premier League 2 marketing campaign, with the teenager having began in 5 of these fixtures within the centre of defence.
The 6 foot 3 titan additionally shone in opposition to senior opposition within the 5-0 win over Colchester United within the EFL Trophy final month, having fun with a 90% cross accuracy on the day as an indication of his composure on the ball, whereas additionally finishing six ball recoveries and recording seven clearances.
That each one-round efficiency seems to suit with the glowing evaluation that was supplied by membership insider superhotspur again in 2022, with the revered supply having written on the time:
‘Alfie Dorrington is an efficient passer of a soccer, and he’s very able to making lengthy and correct cross subject diagonal passes. A powerful defender, Alfie is a courageous central defender who retains good defensive positioning on the pitch. He is superb at making blocks and can be robust and decisive within the problem’.
Because the above supply additionally famous, Dorrington is adept at carrying the ball out from the again as he ‘likes to go on surging and skilful ahead runs out of defence’, as showcased within the win over Newcastle United earlier this season:
In fact, Postecoglou will not be trying to repair one thing that is not damaged following an unbeaten begin to the marketing campaign within the high flight, but Dorrington must be into consideration as a real understudy to the likes of Van de Ven and Romero this season.
As has been seen with the case of King, true diamonds will be discovered within the academy if given the time to correctly flourish.