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Tottenham’s Shayon Harrison’s loan shows he’s not ready to support Harry Kane

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Photo: Getty Images.

From a first team debut at Anfield in the League Cup, things haven’t gone exactly according to plan for Shayon Harrison.

The young striker is highly rated within the Tottenham set up since his rise through the academy, having frequently joined the first team as Mauricio Pochettino has kept a close eye on his development, as Bleacher Report make clear.

However, over the last 18 months Pochettino has allowed him out on loan, a step which Spurs have been reluctant to take when introducing young players into his squad. And it’s fair to say that Harrison has not lived up to expectations.

After leaving his role as a scout for Tottenham and taking up the hot seat at Southend United, one of Chris Powell’s first moves was to bring Harrison in on loan to add firepower in attack. Unfortunately for all involved, that is the biggest compliment that can be paid from his time on the Essex riviera.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Last season, Harrison spent the second half of the season in League Two with Yeovil, scoring once in 14 games and struggling with the physicality of lower league football.

A year later, the same has been the case in League One. In 12 appearances, five of them from the start, Harrison has failed to nail down a regular spot in the side, let alone score a goal.

Powell has repeatedly given Harrison the chance to impress in a number of different positions on either flank, as a number 10 and as a centre forward, though perhaps that inconsistency has made life harder for the youngster.

His fine technical ability and neat footwork shows glimpses of why he has progressed through the ranks in such a way, but he lacks both the physicality and the intelligence on the ball to put everything together.

With such little depth in attack in the first team squad, some may have expected Harrison, who will turn 21 in the summer, to be ready to provide support to the likes of Harry Kane. If his loan spell is anything to go by, he’s unlikely to ever reach such heights.

The last striker to move to Southend on loan from Tottenham was Shaquille Coulthirst, another promising youngster who failed to make the grade and is now at Barnet. To date, Harrison looks more of a Coulthirst than a Kane.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

Blackburn Rovers

Three things learnt from Southend United’s opening day win over Blackburn Rovers

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Southend

Blackburn Rovers were in for a shock on their League One debut as they were blown away by a strong Southend United side at Roots Hall.

1,600 travelling fans made the journey south, but it took only 28 minutes for Southend to open the scoring as Ryan Leonard found space at the far post to rifle the ball home.

Matters went from bad to worse for Tony Mowbray when Michael Kightly, previously of Burnley and making his second debut for Southend, scored again ten minutes later.

Rovers dominated early in the second half, Charlie Mulgrew pulling one back from a free-kick, but they failed to mount any real challenge and the Shrimpers comfortably saw the result out.

Here is what The Boot Room learnt from the game…

Phil Brown’s side are contenders

Blackburn’s starting eleven will be one of the strongest in League One this year, on paper at least, but Southend played them off the park. With only two shots on target, they prevented them from posing a real attacking threat and hit them on the counter with a devastating impact.

Michael Kightly and Stephen Hendrie both enjoyed fine returns for second spells at Roots Hall, but Brown was without many key players too. After a quality performance like this, and with the additions of the injured Anthony Wordsworth, Michael Turner and Ben Coker, with Rob Kiernan also building fitness having signed this week and Nile Ranger expected out of prison soon, it could be a strong season for the Shrimpers.

Life won’t be easy in League One for Blackburn

Tony Mowbray’s side really struggled at Roots Hall, with the manager’s stubbornness partly to blame. His refusal to change the system didn’t help matters as Southend continued to exploit their weaknesses, spreading the ball wide whenever possible.

Charlie Mulgrew did his best to save the side, with his excellent free-kick clawing them back into the game, but it was of little consolation in the end. The Scot showed the kind of commitment and desire that has been lacking at Rovers for too long. New signings like the woeful Bradley Dack should take note.

Ryan Leonard is worth keeping hold of

Amid intense speculation linking him with Millwall and Sheffield United, as the Independent reports, Ryan Leonard showed exactly why the Blues want to keep him around. Leonard made it clear that he was committed and would give his all to the club until any potential move, opening the scoring with a darting far post run to volley home.

Alongside Michael Timlin, the duo bossed the midfield and left Rovers chasing them for scraps. It’s clear to see why Championship sides are interested in the number 18, but even clearer just how important he is to Phil Brown’s set-up.

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Southend United

Three things that Southend United fans will be hoping going into 2017/18

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Southend United

After coming so close to the play-offs in 2016/17, Phil Brown will be seeking improvement with Southend United at Roots Hall. The former Hull City boss has built a solid League One side in Essex and has rebuilt strongly despite losing two regular first team players in Adam Thompson and Will Atkinson who left for Bury and Mansfield respectively.

Brown has signed well, bringing in experience as well as quality. With a tough opening day fixture against newly relegated Blackburn Rovers, the Shrimpers will be after a good start to what could be an exciting campaign. Here are three things that Southend fans will be hoping to see in the opening weeks of the 2017/18 campaign…

To have their first choice eleven settled ASAP

Last season, the Blues failed to nail down their best eleven until mid-October and paid the price. At that point, they looked like relegation favourites and couldn’t get a win for love nor money. By the end of the season, they were promotion candidates and the form team in League One.

Phil Brown hasn’t learnt his lesson, still leaving it until days before the season kicks off to sign Rob Kiernan as only his third central defender. Still, there is time for him to get his starting eleven ready earlier than last season and the Shrimpers only missed out by the narrowest of margins on a play-off spot.

Hope that their veterans can avoid injury

Southend’s starting eleven is one of the strongest in League One. The issue lies in that beyond that eleven, there is very little depth. Michael Turner is already set to miss the start of the season, perhaps not such a surprise after only 15 games in two season, and an injury to Anton Ferdinand would leave the side with only one fit centre-back.

Michael Kightly is another high profile signing, but yet again injury prone. If injury does strike and Southend lose another one or two key players, alongside Ben Coker as he recovers from a broken leg and Nile Ranger rebuilding his fitness after a stay in prison, it could prove to be decisive.

Give Dru Yearwood a shot

The 17-year-old has been hugely impressive in pre-season and has immediately earner plaudits for his all action displays, earning him a four year deal. With doubts continuing to surround the future of Ryan Leonard, it could be a crucial season for Yearwood to make his breakthrough.

In the past, Phil Brown has given the likes of Jack Payne and Dan Bentley the chance to shine and develop and they have gone on to bigger and better things. He must put his faith in Yearwood and help him to improve, as whilst he has all the attributes to succeed, he may not be quite ready yet.

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Brighton and Hove Albion

Three things learnt from Brighton’s 3-0 victory over League One Southend United

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Brighton

Brighton have enjoyed a fine start to pre-season in terms of results, seeing off the challenge of League Two side Crawley Town with ease as they thrashed the hosts 6-0. They followed that up with a trip to Germany, where they beat Fortuna Dusseldorf by two goals to nil.

Tuesday night saw their third test as they traveled to League One Southend United. The game started evenly, with Phil Brown’s side dominating the early stages of the game.

It took just ten minutes of quality to decide the game, with Solly March’s brace and a Glenn Murray header putting the game beyond doubt before half time. In a good test for Chris Hughton’s men, the second half was a pure fitness exercise for both sides.

Here’s what The Boot Room learnt from the game…

Solly March will be at the heart of everything Brighton do this summer

The winger’s brace late in the second half opened the scoring and set his side on the way to victory. His skills and trickery down the right flank gave Stephen Hendrie a headache from start to finish and he clearly looked a class above.

When given the opportunity, he drifted to find space in the box and gave himself half a yard before putting a pinpoint shot past the helpless Ted Smith and into the far top corner of the net, before following it up with a precise finish into the bottom corner only minutes later.

Izzy Brown could be a valuable addition

Brighton’s attack does not lack much, but if there is one thing then it may be pace. Brown adds that in bucketloads. His run down the wing and exquisite cross straight onto the head of Glenn Murray set up his team’s third goal.

Brown was clearly settling into his new side on his first appearance in blue and white stripes since joining on loan on Tuesday. He will only get better as he gets to know his new team-mates, but it was a promising start for the 20-year-old.

Keep an eye out for the name Dru Yearwood

The 17-year-old signed a four year contract on Tuesday afternoon and followed it up with his Roots Hall debut against the Seagulls. The Southend central midfielder bossed the midfield and showed great vision and a brilliant range of passing, setting up the likes of Simon Cox and Marc-Antoine Fortune with 40 yard passes.

It may be too soon to expect much from the energetic youngster, but he has impressed Phil Brown in pre-season and looks set for a role in the first team squad this season.

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