With Matt Taylor being part of the Spurs youth set-up, he was a valuable part of a lot of young players development. So here is a look at a couple of players that could be on the Walsall radar, after their release from Spurs.
It has been a mixed few years for the 22 year-old striker. Injury has stuttered his development after a dead leg worsened and actually turned out to be internal bleeding in the thigh. This injury was picked up in early September 2019. In January 2020, he was loaned to Leyton Orient, where he did not play a game due to injury, and then the early finish of the season. He then moved to Southend on loan, and struggled to make an impact, but this was in a side that struggled all season. Once again, injury reduced his playing time.
Sterling has potential. He has played and scored in PL2, but has struggled to nail down a starting place in the League. His loan spells have seen him in the Championship and League Two. He is still young, and after several failed spells on loan, he will be looking for a home to settle in. Sound familiar?
Walsall have a track record of bringing players in and developing them. Sterling is a bright and energetic striker who needs some work. Could Walsall be the place to develop him, and get him playing regular first team football?
Rodel is a young striker who has been released by Spurs alongside Sterling. Richards is only 20 years old, and has not played any men’s first team football. He has featured in the PL2 this season nine times, and has netted on three occasions. He is a promising young striker, and could make up part of the attack.
Like Sterling, he is probably not ready to lead the line, but as Walsall need numbers, both are viable options. Although they won’t necessarily have been coached by Taylor, they will be known to him, and vice-versa. Both have talent, and it will be up to Taylor if he believes they fit the required standard.
Tracey spent last season on loan with Shrewsbury, and then Cambridge. He struggled for game time in the league for Shrewsbury, but scored four goals, including a hat-trick against Crewe in the EFL Trophy. His loan spell at Cambridge saw him feature more, and he did chip in with a goal and an assist, although his appearances mainly came off the bench.
He is a winger that, like Sterling, needs a home. He also is ready to be at least a squad player, and is someone that has started to feature more in men’s football. He has played a lot of the U-23’s at Spurs, as well as a loan spell with Macclesfield. Tracey could be a cover player for both wings, whilst also pushing for starts, as he has featured on either wing in his loan spells.
With Dan Scarr now departing, Walsall have one CB at the club, young Tom Leak. Aaron Skinner has only recently turned 19, and although he has not had any loan spells, he was on trial at Sunderland recently.
The young defender would bolster the defence, and be someone who Walsall could work with and develop. Although he would not be a starting player, he may be able to fill the ‘Leak’ role, as it would appear Tom is ready to step up into the first team more often.
All four of the above have been released and are available on a free. Although there have been no links to any player, all should be looked at by Taylor, especially if they fit his brief of having good people at the club, and Taylor will know them very well, even if they aren’t players that have come through his youth team, and they could make up some of the younger squad players that can be developed like Adebayo was.