When Tottenham Hotspurs signed Dele Ali from League One side, MK Dons as an 18-year old rookie, not many expected that he would be such a huge success within a short while. Encouraged by the success of Ali, the White Hart Lane side is set to gamble on another Nigerian greenhorn, Kion Etete
In what could be akin to Spurs’ success with the likes of Dele Alli and Josh Onoma, the North London club have already welcomed Etete for a period of trial.
The lad is now making the best of the opportunity, as Etete is impressing Tottenham technocrats, who had good marks for the 17-year-old after a week’s trial with the English Premier League club. All fingers are now pointing in the direction of a repeat of the Alli saga for Etete.
Tottenham are considering a move for Notts County’s pacy teenage forward Kion Etete. The 17-year-old had a week’s trial with the Premier League club culminating in a game for their Under 18s against West Ham at the weekend where he scored twice in a 5-3 win, in which Mauricio Pochettino’s son, Maurizio, put Spurs 1-0 up.
Etete signed a professional contract with Notts County on his birthday in November. That came just weeks after being handed his first team debut, by then manager Harry Kewell, as a 16-year-old in the Checkatrade Trophy against Newcastle in October.
He was linked with city rivals Nottingham Forest in January and has gone on to make six first team appearances for the League Two strugglers. Tottenham will continue to monitor his progress in the coming weeks.
The youngster has played four League Two matches this season, and six in all competitions, all coming from the bench. His debut had come just weeks before, then-manager Harry Kewell handing him minutes in the Checkatrade Trophy against Newcastle United U-21s.
Spurs will continue to track Etete’s progress before deciding whether to make a permanent move for the starlet.
Tottenham have not brought in any new players since the arrival of Lucas Moura on deadline day in January 2018 and fans have been frustrated by the lack of activity, as has manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs are now nine points off second-place Liverpool and just three ahead of fourth-place Manchester United haven picked up just one point in their last three games.
Meanwhile, Notts County fans have now taken to Twitter to react to the news, begging Etete to stay but understanding that it’s hard to reject a club like Tottenham, believing that he’s probably already gone.
Others want Etete sold quickly to ease the club’s financial issues, with some joking that a £7million fee would be needed to price him away from Meadow Lane as they backed him for a bright future.
Etete has celebrated his 17th birthday in style – by signing a professional contract at Notts County and has been a regular on the substitutes’ bench in recent weeks and made his senior debut against Newcastle United U-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy last month.
The teenager is now looking forward to working under new boss Neal Ardley.
“Being around the first team has been a great experience for me and now I’m just going to be doing all I can to show the new manager what I can do,” Etete told the club’s website.
“Under-23s matches will give me the chance to prove myself against older players from a higher level and I can still play for the Under-18s, which will keep me up to speed.”
Etete, who turns 17 today, will have to put his celebrations on hold as he is due to face Southampton in the Premier League Cup later today.
“It feels quite surreal as this is just the start of my day. I’ve got my first driving lesson and a Premier League Cup fixture against Southampton coming up later,” he said.
Tottenham Hotspur’s first team drew 1-1 at home to Arsenal on Saturday afternoon in a dramatic, controversial encounter – but their Under-18’s were also in action.
Spurs Under-18’s took on their West Ham United counterparts in a London derby at Hotspur Way last Saturday morning, with the game somewhat overshadowed by the North London derby.
Kion Etete scored twice for Spurs, and if fans aren’t too familiar with his name in relation to Tottenham, that’s more than fair; he was a trialist for the game.
The Notts County teenager, 17, has already made six first-team appearances for the League Two side, but was allowed to play for Spurs as a trialist last Saturday.
Scoring twice in the first half is some way to make an impact, and the teenager has surely given himself a great chance of earning a permanent move to Tottenham this summer.
Etete came through the youth team at Notts County and made his senior debut for the “Magpies” in a group stage match of the EFL Trophy against Newcastle United U-21 in October last year, coming on as a 76th-minute substitute. He made his EFL League Two debut in November, in a 2–2 draw with Port Vale and after the game he said “I was nervous because it was a big occasion and I just wanted to keep my head on the game”.
His manager said afterwards, “Kion was excellent”.
It, however, remains to be seen if he can reciprocate the success recorded by his compatriot, Alli at Tottenham.