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OPINION: Why Tottenham Hotspur selling Dilan Markanday to Blackburn Rovers sets dangerous precedent for academy’s future

In this day and age of football, is £500,000 a lot of money? Well Daniel Levy seems to think that it was enough to sell Spurs’ best academy prospect.

When Dilan Markanday was sold to Blackburn Rovers many Tottenham fans were left bemused at the decision, especially after the 20-year-old won the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award in October after scoring four goals in four matches.

Markanday registered 17 goal contributions in just 12 games in the Premier League 2 before his transfer in January for just £500,000 it feels much more like a short-term gain instead of a long-term gain. Markanday only appeared once for the first team for Tottenham in the Europa Conference League for just 15 minutes, it really feels as if he wasn’t given a chance at all, especially after his impressive form for the Under 23s.

It has become a worrying theme now that Spurs’ best academy products are leaving the club with Kyle Walker-Peters and Noni Madueke the most successful since leaving the club.

With Tottenham’s current problems at right-back with Emerson Royal extremely inconsistent and Matt Doherty not replicating his form when he was at Wolves Spurs have now spent over £60 million on right-backs since Kyle Walker left for Manchester City back in 2017, when in reality the answer to their problems could’ve been Walker-Peters this whole time with the 24-year-old now a regular for Southampton who can play at both right and left-back.

Madueke is definitely one that Spurs will regret ever letting go, the 19-year-old leaving three years ago for PSV, he has already racked up 11 goals involvements in 22 matches this season, following up an impressive season where he registered 13 goal involvements in 24 matches. In the summer window it was rumoured that Spurs went back into buy Madueke after impressive performances for £40 million, something which Madueke himself confirmed. When you take a step back and look at that sentence. Spurs offered £40 million for a player who was in their academy and left for free just three years ago.

There is something fundamentally wrong with that sentence and that’s when you have to question the set-up of the academy and whether it is a problem higher up where the club are trying to save as much money as possible in the short-term and not thinking about the bigger picture. If Spurs had kept Madueke and Walker-Peters theoretically they would be about £60 million richer right now with Walker-Peters’ price exponentially increasing too.

On the other hand you could argue that Markanday, Madueke and Walker-Peters weren’t offered anywhere near enough opportunities in the first-team and that was the reason why they left rather than the club wanting a quick short-term profit.

Walker-Peters played just 804 minutes in the Premier League registering five assists, which for a right-back is ridiculous numbers and he still wasn’t given a proper run in the first team, Markanday and Madueke (albeit Madueke was 16) both didn’t see a clear path to the first team and thought they had better opportunities elsewhere and subsequently left.

The nature of the departure of Markanday and the previous mistakes of Madueke and Walker-Peters should make Tottenham re-evaluate their decisions around the running of the academy, Madueke, three years on is now worth £40m, Walker-Peters has become a regular for Southampton and Tottenham have now let arguably their hottest prospect in Markanday leave for just £500,000 in January, there is obviously definite problems surrounding the running of the academy.

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