View: Tottenham youngster Dane Scarlett has enjoyed a bright start to his loan at Portsmouth
Tottenham Hotspur youngster Dane Scarlett has yet to score for Portsmouth but has certainly made an impression for Danny Cowley’s side.
Scarlett was on the bench for Portsmouth’s first two League One fixtures but has since been given a starting berth by Cowley in his side’s last three matches.
The 18-year-old is yet to get on the scoresheet for the South Coast club, but his presence is certainly having a positive impact on Fratton Park, with Pompey currently third in League One.
One key aspect that hasn’t gone unnoticed at Fratton Park is Scarlett’s intense pressing which has become a hallmark of Cowley’s Pompey side and was in full flow in their 4-1 win over Cambridge.
In the picture above, the on-loan Tottenham striker doesn’t allow the centre-back to get his head up a play a longer pass.
Instead, Scarlett is already in the process of closing the defender down, before the ball has even reached him.
He uses his excellent burst of pace to prevent the Cambridge defender from playing forward and instead forces him back to his own goalkeeper.
If Scarlett stopped there, the keeper would have time to pick a pass into midfield or go longer to a player higher up the field.
Instead, the 18-year-old continues to press and curves his run to show the keeper only one side of the pitch that he can play into.
Scarlett’s speed and clever body shape have ultimately pushed Cambridge back and the keeper only has one option which is to play a long ball to the right flank.
Younger players can sometimes come with work rate and attitude problems, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the on-loan Tottenham striker, with Scarlett eager to press and harass defenders as much as possible.
The 18-year-old has ultimately been added to Cowley’s squad to score goals after his excellent record in Tottenham’s youth system.
However, the pressing and energy that he is displaying is a great way to endear himself to his new manager and fans.
Below is another example from the first half against Cambridge of Scarlett pressing and working hard for the team.
Scarlett starts on the right-hand side of the pitch but decides to make the 60-yard run to pressurise the right centre back who hasn’t gained possession of the ball yet.
His presence means the defender only has one option with the right-back now free to receive the ball.
As the ball goes into the right-back Scarlett doesn’t allow him time to control the ball and get his head up with the youngster eventually winning a throw for his side in an attacking position.
If the 18-year-old continues to display excellent energy and work ethic for Cowley’s side, then there is no doubt that the goals will start to flow for the Spurs loanee.
It’s important to remember that he is playing in League One and defenders are not as comfortable on the ball compared to in the Premier League.
Scarlett will soon latch onto a mistake and get his goalscoring tally for the season up and running.
He has certainly made an exciting start to his first loan spell away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
In other Tottenham news, Antonio Conte has admitted that Djed Spence wasn’t his choice to be signed.