The summer of 2013 saw drastic changes at White Hart Lane. With the spending spree and changes in personnel, Spurs also sent a lot of players out on loan. The likes of Ryan Mason and Alex Pritchard were players who went to enhance their experience and seek first team football at other clubs for a season. Another such player was England U-21 midfielder, Tom Carroll.
A player rated highly by fans, pundits, players and managers alike, Carroll's playing style has drawn comparisons to former Spurs playmaker, Luka Modric. He joined Spurs at the U-16 level, after captaining his school, Parmiter's, to success at county and district level.
Carroll initially joined Leyton Orient on loan in 2011 after successful years in the Spurs academy. After a short loan spell, he returned to Spurs and was loaned out to Derby County the following year. At Derby, Carroll bagged his first professional goal on his Derby debut in a 3-2 defeat to Barnsley, just a day after joining the club.
He spent the 2012-13 season at White Hart Lane, featuring in most of the U-21 games, helping Chris Ramsey's side reach the final of the Barclays U-21 Premier League and the quarter finals of the NextGeneration U-19 tournament. In November 2012, he made his Premier League debut against Wigan and has featured seven times in first team colours.
Now, Tom is on loan at Queens Park Rangers - under former Spurs manager, Harry Redknapp. During this year long loan spell, Spurs hope for him to develop the technical side of his game and improve his physical ability in a lower league whilst gaining game time too.
When he returns, there is huge expectation and hope for Carroll. An already technically gifted player, he is a simple passer of the ball. He can find a pass in between defenders to open up defences and is more than capable of spreading play too. He always looks confident and assured when playing at any level and is full of energy too.
However, with an already impressively talented midfield at the disposal of Andre Villas Boas, where exactly will Carroll feature when he returns to N17 at the end of this season? As a predominantly deep lying midfielder, like Modric, he will look to use his excellent vision and composure to work the ball up the pitch from further back. His ideal position would be in a 4-2-3-1 formation alongside a ball winning midfielder (ie. Sandro or Capoue). Carroll would easily slot in to the position currently occupied by Mousa Dembele and would be most effective from this area of the pitch.
Seeing as he won't start as many Premier League games, he will usually feature in cup competitions, especially the domestic cups. Here is an idea of how he may have fit in to the Capital One Cup game against Hull later this month if we was at the club:
Walker Kaboul Chiriches Rose
Lamela Holtby Chadli
It is evident to everyone that Carroll has potential and after this loan spell, will have a real crack at competing with the likes Paulinho, Dembele, Holtby and Eriksen for places in the Starting XI. A future star in the making...
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