Jose Mourinho heaps praise on Tottenham’s ‘kids’ for their cameo roles in comfortable Europa League win over Ludogorets with Dane Scarlett becoming club’s youngest ever player at 16 years and 247 days
- Spurs cruised to a 4-0 win over Ludogorets in the Europa League on Thursday
- With the points sealed, Mourinho gave three of club’s youngsters their debut
- Alfie Whiteman, Harvey White and Dane Scarlett all featured and impressed
- Scarlett, aged 16 and 247 days, became the youngest player to play for the club
- Mourinho was pleased the club’s next generation of stars could ‘make history’
It was a memorable night for the Spurs youngsters, with Alfie Whiteman, Harvey White and Dane Scarlett introduced for their debuts late on at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Scarlett, aged 16 and 247 days, became the youngest player to feature for the club when he replaced Moura in the 82nd minute, beating John Bostock’s previous record set in 2008.
Dane Scarlett became the youngest ever player to feature for Tottenham on Thursday night
Jose Mourinho handed Scarlett and two other Spurs academy graduates their debuts
He almost scored two minutes later, but Plamen Iliev rushed out well to save after the Under 18s striker had brilliantly controlled Winks’ pass.
It was also a bright cameo for White, who has been in and around the senior set-up since the summer of 2019 and caught the eye of Mourinho as well as his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino.
Mourinho said: ‘Nice opportunity for kids to get into the club history and to make their own history. 4-0, three points, all good.
‘I know them (the kids) well. Harvey (White) works with us everyday now in our squad.
‘The same with Jack Clarke. Scarlett did pre-season with us and played pre-season matches so we know what they can do but it has to be at the right moment with the right pressure. Today was the right kind of game.
At 16 years and 247 days, Scarlett beat John Bostock’s previous record set in 2008
Along with Scarlett (right), Harvey White (centre right) came on and impressed on his debut
‘The games are important, every game is important. We don’t look to a certain competition, we look game after game. To play every time the same players is not good for the players condition and for the mentality of the ones who never play.
‘They work hard and they deserve to play. I can only start 11 but I want to give chances to everybody. Some players they had a nice performance, Japhet Tanganga it was his first game back after long-term injury.
‘Yeah it was important. There is a risk of every team getting six points against them and if that happens, you need a lot of points to qualify. Normally nine points will be job done but it isn’t.
‘You need a result but (tonight) was important and we made lots of changes. It was important to take it seriously and it was good.’
Mourinho also brought off Joe Hart (right) so Alfie Whiteman (left) could make his debut
Whiteman’s first touch was applauded by Hart from the bench after he was called into action
Mourinho revealed Scarlett was pointed out to him by the club’s academy coaches following his brilliant form in the youth setup.
So far he he 10 goals in eight appearances at youth level this season which ultimately earned him a call-up for Thursday’s win.
Mourinho added: ‘When I played Dane, I didn’t know he was the youngest one. It’s a good thing.
‘He had a good pre-season with us, it was a good experience for him at the age of 16 to have a pre-season with the first team.
‘He played a few minutes in some of our pre-season matches. Of course he went back to his team. He trains with them.
‘Yesterday when I felt there was space for another young player in the squad, I didn’t decide by myself, I asked my football director and I asked the academy director and they contacted all the coaches. “Who deserves?”
White (centre) and Scarlett (right) made positive impacts in the little time they had on the pitch
Fellow Spurs academy graduate Japhet Tanganga (left) hugs Whiteman at the final whistle
‘There are of course a few names, especially the U18s because they are doing so well. They gave me his name and because I knew him already I thought if the opportunity would arise it would be a good chance for me and a good feeling for everyone in the academy.’
In what was a completely dominant performance, Spurs got off to a quick start when Carlos Vinicius scored his first two goals for the club in the first half before Harry Winks added a third after half-time from close to the halfway line – a shot he admits he fluked.
Lucas Moura then wrapped up the scoring late on to keep Spurs on course for the knockout phase.