Tottenham reject Marcus Edwards destroys former club with Lionel Messi-esque dribble | Football | Sport
Former Tottenham youth prodigy Marcus Edwards came within a whisker of exacting revenge on his old club on Tuesday, going on a dazzling run for Sporting Lisbon before seeing his effort saved by Hugo Lloris. The 23-year-old forward left several Spurs players for dead in what was described as ‘the best run of the season’ by Owen Hargreaves, years after Mauricio Pochettino compared him to Lionel Messi.
Edwards was in and around the Spurs first team as a teenager but only played 15 minutes of senior football before he was moved on to Portuguese outfit Vitoria de Guimaraes in 2019.
The youngster’s low centre of gravity and close control made him an instant hit and a regular goal contributor, eventually earning a transfer to Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon in January this year. Edwards will have had his eye on a reunion with Tottenham since the Champions League draw was made last month.
He almost proved his point in spectacular fashion on Tuesday evening, brushing off the challenges of several Spurs stars with a mazy run and playing a neat one-two with Francisco Trincao before seeing his poked effort saved by the feet of Lloris.
Pochettino’s eyebrow-raising assessment of Edwards was vindicated with the show of brilliance. “The qualities – it’s only looks, his body and the way that he plays – remember a little bit from the beginning of Messi,” said the Argentine in 2016.
Edwards made five goal contributions in 12 league games for Sporting towards the end of last season and has started the new campaign on fire, bagging twice in the league and opening the scoring in the Champions League against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Edwards started in a central role against Spurs and, despite his obvious talent, he may have found it tricky to break into Antonio Conte’s current set-up even if the Lilywhites kept hold of him. Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski are both putting the squeeze on Tottenham’s other attackers with Harry Kane virtually untouchable up top.
Born in north London, it remains to be seen if Edwards would be tempted by a route back to the Premier League in the future. Top-flight clubs are sure to be taking note of his Champions League exploits and another campaign of solid output in Portugal could see Sporting’s resolve seriously tested.
Having been similarly praised and singled-out at youth level, Jadon Sancho ignited his career abroad with Borussia Dortmund before making a big-money switch to Manchester United. Callum Hudson-Odoi is seemingly attempting to tread the same path by leaving Chelsea this summer for a loan spell with Bayer Leverkusen.
Edwards is currently working under an esteemed, up-and-coming boss in Ruben Amorim who Chelsea reportedly considered for their recent managerial vacancy. Sporting currently sit seventh in the Liga Portugal after three wins from their opening six matches.