Steffen Freund has been appointed international technical coordinator for Tottenham in charge of looking after all their loan players playing abroad.
He came to the club having impressed as German Under 17 coach taking them to runners-up at the UEFA European U-17 Football Championship in 2011 and a third place at the World Cup in Mexico. His grounding at youth level internationally makes him an obvious choice for the new role.
His appointment strongly suggests that this is an area the club are set to expand in the future. The role he has been given is very important for the clubs future. In a nutshell it's speed up the development of youth players or it should be if the club have put the strategy in place to support him.
The club aim to buy young talent from around the world so they may be affiliated to the FA for three years prior to their 21st birthday and thus qualify to be classed as home grown.
I wrote last September about forging links with foreign clubs (Are the English still stuck in the Past) and sending our young players out on loan deals abroad where development is quite different and mush quicker than it is in the UK. Paths are blocked by successful clubs desire to have nearly finished articles in the side and not give youth a chance until around the 24 mark.
Abroad they can be playing first team at 18 and by the age of 22 be very experienced, you only have to look at the centre-half we are trying to buy from Villarreal, he is 23. Recently Spurs and Nigerian 16-year-old midfielder Musa Yahaya signed a deal which was expected to see him going out on loan to Celta Vigo.
Steffen Freund's new role incorporates what I suggested, that we need to take the lead and find a way with foreign clubs to speed up youth development. If you can get 2 more years out of a player because he is experienced at 22 instead of taking his first steps at 24 the saving on transfer fees will potentially be great. For me this is a very important role Freund has been entrusted with, crucial to our future success.
Many players we now try to buy at youth level the clubs want to hold onto so any such deals Steffen Freund will be responsible for the player and he will also scout for new players at the same time.
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As part of this we need to continue to develop academy partnerships with Belgian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian and French clubs. I would also like to see a link with David Beckham's new Miami franchise when it comes about.
We don't have many players on foreign loan deals, the 2013/14 season saw Tomislav Gomelt at Royal Antwerp, Iago Falque at Rayo Vallecano (now sold to Genoa), Cristian Ceballos at FC Arouca and Grant Ward at Chicago Fire.
His role is a little more than just looking after a few loan deals. I felt a development role was the way to go for him and wondered whether he would have taken over the role vacated by Tim Sherwood, you could say he has on a global basis.
Tottenham also engage in many international projects and they too will come under his banner. We have Ledley King as an Ambassador, Brad Friedel as a US Ambassador and now Steffen Freund looking after our international interests.
It all points to expansion, international expansion, growing the club across Europe and into new markets, something I'm all for.