Blog by: Shayne
Andros Townsend has finally been given a chance to prove himself at Tottenham Hotspur this season. He has been sent on loan to a host of clubs, namely Yeovil Town, Leyton Orient, MK Dons, Ipswich Town, Watford, Millwall, Leeds United, Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers in order to get himself regular game time to aid his progress.
Let’s take a look at what the Englishman brings to the table:
The 22-year-old attacker can play on either side, although he is mostly used on the right side of the field as an inverted winger. Given that Spurs also have Erik Lamela and Aaron Lennon to play on the right-wing, Townsend has plenty of competition for that position. There is a chance that Spurs could see one or two players leave because they have quite a bit of talent at their disposal but until then, it’s safe to say Townsend will have to work very hard to get regular first-team football.
Townsend’s main assets are his pace and dribbling ability. He also likes to shoot from distance although he has never been a massive goal-threat (he has a mere 14 goals in 128 professional appearances). However, his pace and dribbling down the wing makes him a very direct threat in attack. He also likes to get in the odd cross every now and then. He likes to bring others around him into the game, even if it’s with a short pass. Defensively he always puts in a shift and can put in a few tackles.
Arguably his biggest weakness is that he’s yet to reach his full potential. However, he made good progress last season and should continue to do so if he can get a fair share of games. His other major weakness is his physicality. Due to the fact that he is a lightweight, he tends to get shrugged off the ball quite effortlessly at times. He needs to bulk up a bit in order to stop that from happening.
He’s not the complete product just yet, but the talent is clearly there and it is now up to him to fulfill his potential. He has all the necessary tools and all that’s needed is a bit of fine-tuning. He can undoubtedly become a very good player both for Spurs and England.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas clearly rates the youngster and has high hopes for him. Speaking to ESPN, he said: “He (Townsend) came very motivated to do well after his loan. He was jumping for an opportunity. That opportunity arose due to Lennon’s injury and he took it. Sometimes a player on the fringe of the first eleven doesn’t do enough to break into the team, but he has taken the opportunity.
“He is very explosive in his game, through changes of pace and his dribbling ability. He is difficult to control with his change of pace. He has developed a lot in the last year, on loan at QPR and with us. Hopefully he can develop into a top player.”