Tottenham Hotspur cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win over Ludogorets Razgrad in Bulgaria last night which puts them in touching distance of qualification for the next round.
It was a performance littered with positives for Spurs. Carlos Vinicius scored twice, Dele Alli performed well whilst Harry Winks scored a sublime long-range effort which, he later admitted, was a mishit cross-field pass.
But it was also positive for the youngsters at Tottenham, as several got their chance to impress. Alfie Whiteman, Jack Clarke, Harvey White, and Dane Scarlett all made their way into the game from the bench as Tottenham cruised to victory.
For Scarlett, it made him the youngest ever player to have played for Tottenham, breaking a record previously set by John Bostock in 2008.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho admitted he was unaware of that particular statistic but was happy to give Scarlett his chance as a reward for a positive pre-season.
“I didn’t know that (he would be Tottenham’s youngest player),” Mourinho stated, as reported by Football.London. “So when I played him I didn’t know he was the youngest one. It’s a good thing. He had a good pre-season with us, it was a good experience for him at the age of 16 to have a pre-season with the first team.
“He played a few minutes in some of our pre-season matches. Of course, he went back to his [U18] team. He trains with them. Yesterday when I felt there was space for another young player in the squad, I didn’t decide by myself, I asked my football director and I asked the academy director and they contacted all the coaches. ‘Who deserves?’
“There are of course a few names, especially the U18s because they are doing so well. They gave me his name and because I knew him already I thought if the opportunity would arise it would be a good chance for me and a good feeling for everyone in the academy.”
Scarlett is clearly a talent who has caught Mourinho’s eye to be given a chance in the first-team at such a young age.
But when you consider the fact he brought on Whiteman, a goalkeeper, just to give him a run-around, you can gauge the level of competition the Bulgarian side were mustering.
However, the England under-16 international has scored 10 goals in eight Under-18 Premier League games so far this season and will now be looking to push on and become a regular member of the Tottenham first-team squad.