Joshua Onomah: Timing of my Premier League debut underlines Pochettino’s faith in youth
Joshua Onomah says the timing of his Premier League debut underlines Mauricio Pochettino’s faith in his young players at Tottenham.
Having been comfortably 2-0 ahead, Spurs allowed basement boys Aston Villa to hit back on Monday night, setting up a nervy finale as they sought to hold onto their 2-1 lead.
But, in the 89th minute, Pochettino turned to his bench and replaced goalscorer Dele Alli with Onomah.
The 18-year-old midfielder had previously appeared in FA Cup and Europa League games, but he was getting his first taste of top-flight action as he entered the fray at a crucial juncture – and he promptly helped Spurs to score a third goal which finally put the game to bed.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Mauricio Pochettino trusts me when we’re 2-1 up but under the cosh a bit,” said Onomah. “Last week we were 5-1 up against Bournemouth and he didn’t bring me, but it just goes to show that your time could come at any time.
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“I was extra happy because I did well when I came on. I brought energy and made a positive impact and we scored a goal when I came on so that makes it even better. I think Ben [Davies] and I played a one-two which opened up the game and made it easy for us to score.”
For Onomah, an academy graduate who has grown up close to Tottenham’s new training centre in Enfield, it was appropriate that he replaced Alli, having observed the 19-year-old’s meteoric progress this season and aimed to take his own chance to impress.
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“He’s one year older than me and it just shows if you work hard and take your chances you can get your England debut,” said Onomah. “He’s definitely someone who’s been playing well at the moment.”
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