Written by

Hripsime Hayrapetyan

14-04-2020 | 18:36 Football

"Ronaldinho’s successor" and the "next Drogba": Top 5 Tottenham starlets who didn’t make the grade, unlike Harry Kane

It’s not an easy thing to raise so quickly over the obstacles that footballers usually face on their way to the top of the game. Not only talent, but also hard work and persistence play a huge role in the player’s future career.  This can be said about Tottenham star Harry Kane, who had to overcome a number of barriers, including loan spells in the Football League, injuries, strong opponents, a penalty miss on his debut, to reach his recent success. However, not all players could repeat Kane’s success story. Some highly-rated starlets failed on having senior careers as they were expected. Let’s see which promising Tottenham talents couldn’t make the grade as Harry Kane did.  

Phil Ifil

Image Source: talkSPORT The 17-year-old right-back was in the center of attention back in 2004, when he started the first two games of the campaign against serious rivals like Liverpool and Newcastle United. Spurs played a 1 - 1 draw with the Reds, while the game against the Magpies ended with a 1 - 0 victory, with Ifil denying Alan Shearer to score. Then Stephen Kelly and Noe Pamarot kept him out of the squad. However, he was on his way of growing as a footballer and got a substitute role against Burnley in the League Cup. Two years later, after a spell with Millwall, Ifil made his last two appearances for Tottenham: one in a 3-1 League Cup win over Port Vale and then in a 3-3 draw versus Wiganin in the Premier League.  After the draw with the Latics, the club boss Martin Jol has shared his admiration about the 20-year-old youngster, saying: “He’s a real Spurs player. A home-grown player with a great mentality and a very good career ahead of him.” Unfortunately, he never played for the Spurs again, spending the rest of his career at Colchester United, Dagenham & Redbridge, and Kettering Town.

John Bostock

Image Source: Sky Sports Bostock was Tottenham’s youngest ever player, aged 16 and 295 days, joining the club from Crystal Palace in May 2008. Though the arrival of the talented midfielder was a promising one, he couldn’t become one of the Spurs stars.  After moving to the English club, just a couple of months later, he was included in Tottenham’s Europa League squad against Dinamo Zagreb. Later he made another two substitute appearances in both legs versus Shakhtar Donetsk. However, then his progress faltered, causing a number of loan moves to Brentford, Hull, Sheffield Wednesday, Swindon Town and Toronto FC. He made his last senior appearance for Spurs, off the bench in an FA Cup tie against Cheltenham Town, before moving to the Owls in 2012. Bostock left Tottenham in 2013, joining Belgian’s second tier Royal Antwerp. One year later he moved to relegated OH Leuven and helped them to promote back to the top flight, Yet, the midfielder was named the league’s Player of the Season, which led him to the French side Lens. In France he was named Ligue 2’s best player in 2016/17. The Englishman continued his playing time with Turkish club Bursaspor and spent one season in Ligue 1 with Toulouse. Now he plays in the Championship with Nottingham Forest.

Steven Caulker

Image Source: Bleacher Report In 2012, Caulker had all chances to become a superstar, playing with the Spurs. However, things didn’t go as planned and he faced a shock move to Cardiff City for a £8million transfer fee.  Even his former teammate Angel Rangel didn’t expect it. The Spaniard said: “He could play for Arsenal or these kind of teams, [but] he’s gone to Cardiff for some reason. I didn’t expect it, but he knows he will probably be playing regularly, week-in, week-out.” Caulker managed to score 5 goals for the Bluebirds, but the club was relegated from the Premier League, while the England international joined Queens Park Rangers, later playing on loan for Southampton and Liverpool.  Back at QPR he had to overcome injury problems and later revealed about the personal issues dogging him, with addiction troubling him. In 2018 he joined Dundee. Now plays in Turkey with Alanyaspor and has one goal and 6 assists during this term. Caulker also does charity work, as well as helps other footballers who are struggling off the pitch.

Cristian Ceballos

Image Source: Sky Sports Once being named as Ronaldinho’s successor after a video of the youngster playing with the Brazilian, Ceballos couldn’t reach the top of the game. He failed to succeed at Barcelona due to his injuries. Later, his move to Tottenham raised hopes over his future success. However, after trying to break into the Spurs first team, he joined Charlton, later moving to the Belgium side Sint Truiden. Ceballos believes injuries and managerial changes left him unable to show an impressive game. Now the Spain international plays for Al-Wakrah in the Qatar Stars League.

Souleymane Coulibaly

Image Source: talkSPORT The whole world was impressed with the youngster, after his nine stunning goals at the 2011 Under-17 World Cup, including a hat-trick against Brazil. The Ivorian was named as the next Didier Drogba, with Tottenham in rush for signing the player amid Manchester United and Real Madrid interests. In 2012, his great goal against Southampton at White Hart Lane raised hopes in fans, believing they had a real wonderkid at the team. However, things changed and Coulibaly left the Spurs for Italian club Bari with a permanent deal. The forward returned to England with Peterborough, later playing for Al Ahly, Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle.  Now, the 25-year-old, plays with the Tunisian side ES Sahel.

Source: TalkSPORT

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