Spurs starlet Townsend keen to train with idol Beckham after ‘dream debut’

SPURS starlet Andros Townsend admits that it will be a dream come true to train with his idol David Beckham, who he rates as “England’s best ever player”.

Beckham will begin training with the Lilywhites at Spurs Lodge tomorrow, staying with the Tottenham squad until his return to Los Angeles on February 10.

And 19-year-old Townsend, the man of the match after scoring on his first-team debut against Charlton yesterday, is relishing the chance to work with one of his biggest heroes.

“I think for every youngster it would be massive to have someone like him – probably England’s best ever player – training with us. That would be amazing,” said Townsend.

“He’s one of my idols and it would be the same for a lot of youngsters. He could teach me a lot - he could teach anyone in English football a lot. He’s an amazing player and he’s had a fantastic career.”

Beckham’s arrival in north London will cap a memorable couple of days for Townsend, who struck the opening goal in the 3-0 win over the Addicks at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

The young winger, who impressed in pre-season, spent the first half of the season on loan at Ipswich, making 16 appearances under Roy Keane and helping the Tractor Boys to the Carling Cup semi-final.

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Townsend was supposed to remain at Portman Road until May but his spell in Suffolk ended prematurely last month when Harry Redknapp – unhappy with his young star’s lack of action – recalled him to north London.

The Spurs boss proved his faith in the England Under-19 international yesterday, naming him in his starting line-up against Charlton.

And the manager was rewarded with a blistering performance from the midfielder, who showed pace, trickery and an eye for goal as he broke the deadlock in the 49th minute.

“It was a brilliant debut, I couldn’t have asked for much more,” said Townsend. “The goal was all a bit of a blur really. I just remember getting the ball and thinking ‘I might as well have a shot here’. Thankfully it’s gone in the bottom corner. I was delighted.

“I don’t think I could have dreamt that it would have gone any better - it was a dream debut. Even when I was Ipswich I thought I actually played well when I was given a chance, so I’ve just taken my form into this game and hopefully shown everyone here what I can do.”

The focus now turns to Townsend’s future, and player and manager are both agreed that another loan spell looks imminent, possibly this week.

“Maybe I need another loan to get my game up to scratch and then we’ll see what happens next season,” said the youngster. “Of course I’d like to stay here [at Tottenham] but I may have to go on another loan and prove myself to the manager and the coaching staff. I haven’t spoken to the manager about it yet but maybe in the next few days we’ll sit down and see where my future lies.”

Redknapp said: “Andros did well. He was on loan at Ipswich but he wasn’t getting a game so we thought ‘well he might as well come back here, if he can’t get in their team’.

“He started well there and then he found it difficult getting into their team. But he came out against Charlton and was fantastic, I’m really pleased with him. He’s a good lad as well. He wants to be a player and he works hard - he comes in on his days off to train and he wants to improve.

“He’s got a real chance, and I think he’s going out on loan again next week. The kid needs to play. He’s come through the youth team and it’s about time we got one or two coming out of the youth team and playing in the first team, and he’s the first of them who’s had a go there really. I’ve been delighted with him.”

Assistant manager Kevin Bond added: “We know what his strengths are. He has come into the side and done himself no harm. He has certainly given the manager something to think about in terms of another option for him. It was a terrific performance for someone making their debut.

“He is direct, quick and he has good feet. Coming off the right wing onto his left foot worked well for him, being naturally left footed, but he can go down the line and doing that he delivered two or three great crosses.”