Tottenham name unknown youngster Marcel Lavinier in their Europa League squad for knockout stages despite defender not having played a single game for the first team since arriving from Chelsea’s academy in October
Tottenham have made a surprise inclusion for their Europa League knockouts squad – with youngster Marcel Lavinier making the cut despite never playing for the club.
Jose Mourinho is preparing his side for the business end of competition, with a Round of 32 tie against Austrian side Wolfsberg coming on February 18 and has named a 25-man squad as he bids to win the trophy for a third time.
And he found room for 20-year-old Lavinier – who joined the club from Chelsea’s academy in October – in his group for the latter stages, a decision which may shock Spurs fans given his relatively unknown status.
Spurs youngster Marcel Lavinier (L) has been named in Jose Mourinho’s Europa League squad
Lavinier has caught the eye while turning out for Tottenham’s Under 23 side this season
The Portuguese youngster is yet to play a senior game for Tottenham and has been turning out for the club’s Under-23 side in Premier League 2. He has featured 12 times so far, scoring once, and looks to have impressed Mourinho.
All teams competing in the Europa League must submit an A-list, featuring their core players, and a B-list – made up of home-grown stars. Lavinier was named in the A-list, while youngsters like Denis Cirkin and Dane Scarlett made the B-list.
There was a free slot for Lavinier to step up after defender Cameron Carter-Vickers joined Bournemouth on loan, while Jack Clarke moved to Stoke until the end of the season. He now has an opportunity to make his debut for the club, although may be restricted for the most part – as Spurs see this competition as a golden chance to win a trophy.
Lavinier joined Chelsea as an Under-8 star and rose up to the Under-18s and later the Under-23s. He was part of a successful young Blues squad during his three years in west London and bid an emotional goodbye to the club after his move to Spurs was confirmed.
He was released by Chelsea in October having joined the club’s Under-8 team 12 years ago
‘This isn’t easy for me to say as this is the only club I’ve known for the past 12 years of my career. I want to thank all the staff & coaches at @Chelsea for their help and developing me into the player I am today,’ he wrote on Instagram.
‘I’ve made friends who have turned to brothers and made some memories that I’ll never forget. It’s time for me to take the next step in my career and I wish everyone at Chelsea FC the very best in the future. You’ll always have a place in my heart.’
After putting pen to paper on his Spurs deal, he later wrote: ‘Delighted to have signed for @spursofficial in the next step of my career.
Joe Rodon was a surprise omission from the squad despite featuring regularly in the first team
‘Very big club with very high ambitions. Grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started!’
Meanwhile, centre-back Joe Rodon – who does not count as a homegrown player due to former side Swansea’s affiliation with the Welsh FA – was left out of the squad.
Mourinho said the decision to leave out Rodon, who has been featuring regularly for Spurs in the Premier League since his £11m move, was not an easy one.
‘We didn’t [include Rodon]. A hard decision but we wanted to show respect for the group. Very hard for the group to cope with one involved to be out. The emotional impact it has less impact on a player who was not part to stay out.’