In a way I’m glad Spurs didn’t manage to invest in a striker; it’s forced them to dig into their academy and promote Jonathan Obika who has been out on loan to various clubs to get first team experience. This reminds me of Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling who was promoted into the first team from the NextGen team to fill a gap and shocked everyone with his skills.
So what do we know about this 22 year old striker who helped Yeovil avoid relegation with three goals in 11 games?
He is a local
Obika was born in Enfield amongst a family of Tottenham fans, including his cousin the famous singer Lemar, which hopefully means he is unlikely to leave the club as soon as he gets interest from the likes of Manchester United or Barcelona. He could well be the next Ledley King and stay true to Tottenham?
Lots of first team experience
It’s normal for a youth player to be sent out on loan to lower teams to get experience, after talking to Fulham U21 coach Kit Symons I realized how it’s not just about skills, it’s also about mentality and experience too. So after stwo spells at Yeovil Town, and one at Milwall, Crystal Palace, Swindon and Peterborough raking up over 100 games in first team experience.
He’s already made his Spurs debut
Obika made his debut for Spurs in their UEFA Cup tie against Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2008/2009 season and his appearance earned the clubs “Breakthrough player of the year” award from the fans…so the fans like him! He also played for 16 minutes in the Spurs Capital One Cup clash against Carlisle so Andre Vilas Boas has been testing him out, but maybe didn’t plan on using him so soon?
The striker is eligible to play for both England and Nigeria but has opted to play for his home country. He has played for the England International under-19s and under-20s playing in the Under 20 World Cup tournament in Egypt 2009. Although this was a while ago and no goals were scored, breaking into the Spurs team maybe what Obika needs to develop his potential, training and learning from Jermain Defoe who has been deemed fit to play again.
He’s got skills
I don’t need to write anything in this column…just watch this youtube video
We all know that Andre Vilas Boas won’t put Obika straight out there, but I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do, especially after watching that video Another youth team member with a lot of potential is Alex Pritchard, who has been a hotshot in the NextGen Spurs team and has now been sent to Peterborough… A previous team of Obika’s is this a good sign? I think so!
Written By Sian Trimble-Davey