WHEN Timothy Eyoma made his debut for Tottenham during their FA Cup victory over Tranmere Rovers in January, it was more than just a prodigy getting his first senior minutes.
It was another landmark for young English talent.
Timothy Eyoma made his senior bow for Tottenham when he came on against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup last month
The Three Lions’ victory at the Under-17 World Cup in India in 2017 left many hoping it would not be long before they would get their shot at the big time.
And in less than 18 months, Eyoma became the 11th of 18 outfield players to earn a first-team debut.
He follows the likes of current senior international Jadon Sancho, Golden Ball winner Phil Foden and Chelsea starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi – marking a new age for youth talents in England.
Eyoma hails from a footballing family, with his 21-year-old brother Aaron a former Arsenal academy product, before moving to Derby County.
AP:Associated Press Eyoma got his chance to impress Mauricio Pochettino during pre-season, turning out against AC Milan in the International Champions Cup
Reuters Eyoma became the 11th outfield player from England’s Under-17 World Cup-winning team to make their senior competitive debut
The Hackney-born youngster went to Highbury Grove School, situated less than five miles from Tottenham’s new stadium, where he could be playing as soon as March.
And he will be keen to take to the new White Hart Lane pitch after gaining his first experience of senior football.
The youngster will never forget Friday, January 4, 2019 – the day he replaced Davinson Sanchez in the FA Cup third round tie against Tranmere Rovers in the 79th minute to make his senior bow.
Tottenham may have already been 6-0 up at Prenton Park, but he joined four other academy products including Oliver Skipp, George Marsh, Kyle Walker-Peters and Harry Kane on the pitch.
AP:Associated Press Eyoma has played at every youth level for England up to and including the under-19s
Getty Images – Getty Eyoma, number 2, starred alongside Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden in England under-17’s World Cup victory
The latter has inspired many in Spurs’ youth to keep dreaming of making the big time, having gone from perennial loanee to a Tottenham superstar, England captain and world-class striker.
Meanwhile, the other three are either back up options or ones for future, with Eyoma fitting into that category.
While the Londoner’s stature may be key weakness as a central defender, his tactical awareness and composure on the ball, even when playing out from the back more than make up for it.
Getty Images – Getty Eyoma will be looking for more minutes following the success of fellow graduates Oliver Skipp and Harry Kane
Reuters Kane is the most famous Spurs academy graduate in the current squad, netting over 150 goals since becoming a first-team regular in the 2014-15 season
Few make the grade as a 5ft 11in Premier League centre-back, yet among them is 2012/13 Premier League winner Phil Jones, 40-time
England international Phil Jagielka and Nathan Ake, who has been linked with moves to Manchester United, Tottenham and old club Chelsea.
Eyoma will not be without competition for places, with Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth both ahead in the pecking order and under 23 years of age, while veterans Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld the first-team starters.
But making his debut for his local side will live long in his memory, while also setting an example for other youngsters coming through up and down the country.
Spurs star Harry Kane running again after ankle injury in race to be fit for north London derby