Here at Shoot! we endeavour to keep a watchful eye over the emerging talents in world football and keep you in the know in terms of who you should be watching out for in the years to come.
Having already showcased the talents of Southampton starlet Callum Slattery, today we turn our attentions to fellow youngster Joe Muscatt, who is on the books of Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
For year upon year, the “academy of football” lied within London.
You could suggest it still does now. But instead of youngsters making the trip to the East End to feature for West Ham United, does this prestigious award now lie in the hands of Tottenham?
Harry Kane. Harry Winks. Even Tom Carroll. I could go on further. All of which have made the trip from academy football with the North London outfit to Premier League football.
For Tottenham fans the question is whose next to graduate? If you had to choose, one contender would have to be 19-year-old Joe Muscatt.
The left-back is Spurs through and through. For him, like it was for Kane, featuring for this historic club would mean everything.
Muscatt was born in Whipps Cross University Hospital; the same hospital of which David Beckham (and Jonathan Ross) were born, on December 15, 1997.
Despite none of his family playing the game at a professional standard, Muscatt was always brought up with a love of football.
There was no big surprise then, when old enough, Muscatt attended Highams Park School, enabling his education to have a sporting aspect as a result of the school being referred to as a school for Sport.
It was also the destination for former professional footballers to develop; 1988 FA Cup Winner Terry Gibson was a pupil, so too was former Spurs man David Bentley, as well as Jermaine Pennant (I don’t think Tottenham fans need reminding of who he used to play for!).
If it was good enough for them, it was good enough for Muscatt; after all, the left-back did grow up in that area of Charing Cross.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 9, 2014
Despite being with Spurs since the age of 10, Muscatt only developed into a left-back in his teenage years; before that, his childhood hero was a certain Frank Lampard.
He took guidance of one of the greatest midfielders England have ever produced, as well as the help of his coaches, and developed into the type of player he is today.
I guess it helped by him playing age groups above himself. Saturday, October 5, 2013, may be a day that most football fans remember for Adnan Januzaj’s two late goals earning Manchester United three points on his first league start.
Not for Muscatt. The local lad remembers that day as the day he made his Under-18’s debut for Spurs in a 4-2 victory over then reigning Youth Cup champions Norwich City. Muscatt would also feature against Aston Villa and Southampton at Under-18’s level that year.
The following year, he became a regular within the Under-18’s set-up as he battled for his place at full-back with a man some refer to as the “next Eric Dier” in Anton Walkes.
After cementing his position within the Under-18 squad, the next objective was to break into the Spurs development squad.
His opportunity came towards the climax of the 2014-15 season, as he made his debut inside Goodison Park on the last day of the season.
Whilst appearing for the Under-18’s on 19 occasions within the league last season, Muscatt also flirted with the development squad, as he started the Under-21’s final game of the season against Manchester United at White Hart Lane.
It has been this year, however, at which Muscatt has shone within the Under-23’s set-up, making seven appearances for the development squad.
While his first victory featuring for the development squad only came at the beginning of this month, the Charing Cross youngster has certainly conveyed a strong message to former Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu (now the development squad manager at Spurs Lodge) and even Mauricio Pochettino.
Muscatt can Shoot for the Stars.