Kaboul Out, Veljkovic debut?

The extent of the Tottenham injury crisis was revealed today when the squad to travel to Benfica was announced. There are no senior centre-backs making the trip to Portugal.

Veljkovic debut for Spurs?
Will Milos Veljkovic make his debut for Spurs?
It was known that Younes Kaboul was struggling and he has failed to recover from his latest injury set-back.

Michael Dawson, Vlad Chiriches, Kyle Walker, Erik Lamela, Etienne Capoue and Mousa Dembele also remain sidelined while Emmanuel Adebayor has an ankle knock he is protecting so has also been left behind.

In addition Paulinho and Hugo Lloris have been rested which means there are quite a few Development Squad players in the first team squad..

Tottenham provisional squad: Friedel, Archer, McGee, Naughton, A McQueen, Fryers, Rose, Ball, Ogilvie, Sandro, Chadli, Veljkovic, Eriksen, Winks, Sigurdsson, Bentaleb, Onomah, Lennon, Townsend, Kane, Soldado.

The faces you may not know are from the Academy are:

Jordan Archer: Archer is the Development Squad goalkeeper. He is 20 years-old and is a Scottish Under-21 international. The 6'3" keeper has been with us since 2009 and has had loan spells at Bishops Stortford and Wycombe Wanderers for whom he played 27 games last season. He has been capped at Under 19, Under 20 and now has 21 Under 21 appearances for his country.

Luke McGee: McGee is also a goalkeeper and made more appearances for the Under 18's than any other player last season. Our young English stopper who has one England Under 17 appearance to his name is not 19 until the 2nd September. He has made one appearance for the U21 Development Squad in the Premier League this season. He put in some impressive performance when we played in the NextGen Series.

Alexander McQueen: McQueen is an 18 year-old who can play in both full-back positions or at centre-back but is usually found at right-back. He has a bit of pace about him and likes to play football from the back. He is English and has played 13 Premier League Under 21 matches this season.

Milos Veljkovic: Veljkovic is an 18 year-old centre-back. He is a Swiss born Serbian Under-19 international and is very highly-rated at Spurs. He previously played in midfield so is a tough tackler and ball winner. Veljkovic is thought to have a very bright future with the club and I would not be at all surprised if he plays some part in the game, indeed I wouldn't be at all surprised if he didn't start. He joined us in 2011 from FC Basel and is a very mature player for his age and composed on the ball.

Dominic Ball: Ball is an 18 year-old centre-back who chose Northern Ireland over England. He is a good passer of the ball and can also play in midfield. At international level he has represented the Irish at U15, U16, U17, U19 and U21 levels. He also had 1 game for England U19's. He has played 13 Premier League U21 games this season and has played 2 European Under 21 qualifying games.

Connor Ogilvie: Ogilvie is an 18 year-old England U16 and U17 youth international, having won 17 caps at U17 level. He plays left-back who can play at centre-back. He has made 3 Premier League U21 appearances this season.

Harry Winks: Winks at 18 is an England U17 youth international having won 6 caps. He is a versatile midfielder who performed with distinction for Spurs' Under-18s last season as an attacking midfielder. Winks spent some time training with the first team and has played 2 Premier League U21 games this season.

Joshua Onomah: Onomah recently played in the Algarve tournament with England U17's helping them to second place. He scored in the win against Holland and drew with Portugal before losing the final game 1-0 to Germany. Prior to that winner-takes-all match he spoke to the FA about the experience.

“I was delighted to get a goal, but I was more pleased with the way the team performed as whole against Holland.

“I didn’t play against Portugal, but we were all disappointed and felt really unlucky after the match. That late goal was cruel but we can make up for it by beating Germany and winning the tournament.

“It has been a great learning experience. Even when I was on the bench against Portugal, I learnt a lot about game management. I think I’m one of the most experienced boys out of this squad, and it has been good to meet and see some of the new lads come in this week. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the new people and we have gelled really quickly and performed well as a team.

“Me and the rest of the lads are just buzzing to play now and will be giving everything to try and win this top class tournament against three top class teams. It has been ideal preparation for the Elites. I have never played against Czech Republic or Albania, and we know it is going to be hard. I’ve never been to an international tournament so I am desperate for us to get through and reach the Euros.”

That tournament took place this month so it has been quite a March for the central attacking midfielder, now being a part of a first team squad for a trip back to Portugal. He has player 2 Premier League Under 21 matches this season.

Several of these youngsters are going along for the experience. Spurs like to introduce youngsters into squads to give them a feel of what it is like and what they are aspiring to as an incentive. You would assume that those with more Premier League Under 21 games this season are the ones more likely to get some game time.

That would mean McQueen, Veljkovic and Ball are the most likely to be seen. Of that trio Veljkovic is the man most likely given our lack of centre-backs and how highly he is rated. However the game turns out I'd watch to see how this lad does, it seems an ideal time to introduce him.




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