For all the talent Tottenham Hotspur have had on their books over the years – including the likes of Jimmy Greaves and Harry Kane – it is fair to say that the Lilywhites have also let a handful of star names agonisingly slip through their grasp.
The most notable example of that fact was the loss of academy asset David Beckham to Manchester United back in 1991, with the then-teenager going on to become a global, footballing superstar following his departure from north London.
Those at N17 also endured the blunder of having sold eventual Liverpool legend Graeme Souness for just £30k in 1972, with the fiery Scotsman having been handed just a solitary first-team appearance at Spurs after rising up through the youth ranks.
On the face of it, it looks as if current chairman Daniel Levy could have fallen into a similar trap after allowing Marcus Edwards to depart a few years ago, with the diminutive genius now ripping it up away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Why did Marcus Edwards leave Tottenham?
The Enfield-born dynamo was tipped to be the next star of the future amid his stellar displays in the youth ranks at Spurs, with then-boss Mauricio Pochettino even likening the emerging talent to Lionel Messi in 2016:
“The qualities – it’s only looks, his body and the way that he plays – remember a little bit from the beginning of Messi.”
Despite that hefty praise – as well as his record of ten goals and seven assists in just 28 games for the club’s U21 side – the 5 foot 6 sensation was unable to truly force his way into the first-team picture under Pochettino, following Souness in having made just one senior appearance for the club prior to his departure.
With injuries and off-field issues seemingly holding him back from living up to the early billing, Levy and co made the decision to let the fleet-footed enigma depart in 2019, with the forward joining Portuguese side Vitoria de Guimaraes on a free transfer.
That had come after a promising loan spell at Excelsior the season year prior, with teammate Jeffry Fortes having stated at the time: “He is of a bizarre level, what he can do is really not normal, I have not experienced a better player in my career, and Mauricio Pochettino did not make that comparison with Messi for nothing.”
How much is Marcus Edwards worth now?
Such a glowing assessment of Edwards’ talents has been backed up by his displays in the years since leaving England, with the 24-year-old now shining for Primeira Liga side Sporting CP, for whom he has recorded 32 goal involvements in just 70 games in all competitions to date.
The former England youth international showcased his impressive transformation when the Lisbon outfit took on Tottenham in the Champions League last season, memorably producing a stunning long range strike on his return to face his former employers.
Described as the type of attacker who simply “leaves people for dead”, in the words of TNT Sports pundit Owen Hargreaves, Edwards was even touted with a return to north London earlier this year, as Levy also pursued a move for his then-teammate, Pedro Porro.
The Englishman’s rise can also be seen by the fact that he has a £52m release clause in his current contract, while his actual market valuation is said to be around €30m (£26m), according to CIES Football Observatory, more than Ange Postecoglou’s summer signing Manor Solomon is valued at – €20m (£17m).
The latter man has enjoyed a promising start to life at N17 with two assists to his name so far this season, although one can only imagine the impact that Edwards could have made in Postecoglou’s attacking ranks had he not left the club four years ago.
Perhaps the Sporting ace simply needed a change of scenery to truly kickstart his career, although if his stellar ascension continues, Levy will be left to regret his decision to sell even further.