Last April, a player thrust himself into the spotlight at Tottenham after a dominating performance with the club’s under-18s. Reo Griffiths helped Spurs defeat Arsenal’s youngsters 9-0 that month. He scored four goals and assisted three in the romp.
It had some Tottenham fans calling for him to win promotion to the first-team. That never happened. Despite scoring 33 goals in under-18 football last season he was not moved up. His lack of goals with the under-23s and in the UEFA Youth League led Tottenham to believe he was not ready. The striker’s future at the club was also in doubt, which would not have helped his cause.
In the end, he did leave. AThe teenager joined Lyon in France, following the growing trend of heading abroad to play his football. As reported by The Mirror, he cancelled a newly signed one-year scholarship to make the move. It came after he was left out of the club’s pre-season US tour.
Now, the 18-year-old’s departure might be starting to hurt more than ever.
With Tottenham losing Harry Kane to injury and Heung-min Son to the Asian Cup, striking options are low at Spurs. Based on his form from last season, Griffiths would undoubtedly have been moving up the ranks at Spurs.
He could have been brought into the first-team at this stage and given Tottenham a homegrown talent to celebrate.
Instead, he is in France. He has played just twice for Lyon’s II side in National 2 but did score on his UEFA Youth League debut for the club last month.
Tottenham now have another youth prodigy coming through in Troy Parrott and perhaps the Irishman can fill a back-up void where Griffiths might have. But it is certainly a shame that the free-scoring Griffiths is not still around. This might have been his chance.