There is no better compliment that a player can be given in this day and age than be compared to Lionel Messi.
However, that was the comparison that Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino drew when talking about then 17-year-old Marcus Edwards after his debut for The Lilywhites in September 2016.
The attacking midfielder was starting to turn heads at White Hart Lane. He was known to be a dangerous dribbler with electric pace and an eye for a goal. This can be seen if anyone watches his highlights playing for Tottenham’s various age groups.
However, after such glowing praise from his manager, Edwards is yet to feature for Spurs again.
Edwards, now 20 years of age, spent half of last season on loan at Championship side Norwich, but failed to make an impression there. He only played once for The Canaries before returning to Tottenham.
He’s currently at Dutch outfit Excelsior, where he is making more of an impression this season. He started life well in Rotterdam, but has not featured recently as his game time has petered out.
The strange thing is that this was a player that was tipped to have a huge future at Tottenham, and while it is likely that he will, it has not taken off as quickly as he would have liked.
At the age of 20, there are plenty of players in world football that are already established at that age. Of course, some come on quite a bit later, but it was just the fact that Edwards emerged with a bang two years ago, but has again sunk back into obscurity.
It is getting to a stage where Edwards will need to start impressing wherever he is. If this loan in the Netherlands does not go to plan, it is unclear how many times Tottenham would let him keep struggling at different clubs before they wield the axe. He’s still young, but he must start impressing if he ever hopes of making Tottenham’s first team.