Pritchard’s back with a bang as Spurs Under-21s beat Everton

Alex Pritchard made his return from injury for Tottenham’s Under-21s on Monday and scored twice in a 4-1 win over Everton.

Pritchard, who had a successful loan spell with Brentford in the Championship last season, went to the European Under-21 Championship with England during the summer – but the 22-year-old suffered an ankle injury in the second group game against Sweden.

That ruled him out of Spurs’ pre-season programme but he returned with a bang this week, playing the first 45 minutes of the Under-21s’ season opener and scoring a free kick before doubling his tally seven minutes later, while Nathan Oduwa and Shaq Coulthirst were also on target.

“It’s always good to get back out on the pitch and start playing proper football, especially with the younger boys,” said Pritchard. “The main thing is to get the minutes under my belt, because I haven’t played a match in pre-season. So to come back and get the minutes and get the two goals and help the team win is a plus.

“I’ve been away with England and I’ve been in at the start [of pre-season] so I’ve not had much of a break. But I’ve been grafting for a while now and hopefully it will pay me back with getting into the [first-team] squad.

Mauricio Pochettino has suggested that Pritchard is a big part of his plans this season, stating: “It was a shame because we expect a lot from him but he was injured through all of pre-season.”

Hugo Lloris completed the full 90 minutes in the Under-21 fixture after being on the bench at Old Trafford on Saturday.