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Tanganga: Devine is a real spark – there’s more to come from him

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ottenham defender Japhet Tanganga predicted “more to come” from Alfie Devine after the teenager became the youngest scorer in the club’s history in the 5-0 win over eighth-tier Marine.

At 16 years and 163 days, half-time substitute Devine was already Spurs’ youngest-ever player when he marked his debut with a brilliant fifth goal as the visitors cruised into the FA Cup fourth-round.

The former Wigan midfielder, who moved to London for £500,000 in the summer, was released by Liverpool aged 11 but has often trained with Tottenham’s seniors since catching Jose Mourinho’s eye in pre-season.

Tanganga, who was also introduced at the interval with Spurs 4-0 up, made his own breakthrough under Mourinho last season and believes yesterday will prove a springboard for Devine.

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“Every time he’s come up [to first team training] he’s looked a real spark,” Tanganga told Standard Sport. “He’s doing well. When he was coming on, I just told him, ‘Keep it simple, do what you’ve been doing in training – there’s a reason why you’ve been training up’.

“You saw glimpses of his ability in a really professional performance. I’m really happy for him to get his first professional goal. He’s a really good player and there’s more to come as well.

“It’s a great achievement and it was a great goal. Hopefully from here it’s a confidence boost, knowing that the manager can put him in for these games. He’s shown he can hustle, he’s shown what he can do, so hopefully from here he can kick on and get more appearances for the club.”

Mourinho said of Devine: “He’s a kid with good potential. He’s basically a midfield player but with an instinct to appear in finishing zones and to score goals. We like him and of course for him it was a special day.”

The 161-place chasm between the clubs was the biggest in the FA Cup’s history but Tanganga says Marine’s tiny ground, flanked on both sides by terraced houses, was not such a shock for him.

“Playing with the Under-23s before going into the first team, we had a few games which we played at stadiums like that,” he said “You just have to professional and get the job done, and we did that.”


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