Alex Pritchard (21) – Attacking Midfielder – Brentford FC (Spurs)
Apps: 40(2) Goals: 10 Assists: 7 MOTM: 4
Skillful, pacey and with a keen eye for goal; Alex Pritchard has enjoyed a fruitful loan spell at Brentford. With his 10 goals and 7 assists, Pritchard has been instrumental in The Bee’s push for the play-off places. A direct, tricky attacker who operates across the attacking midfield three – Pritchard’s main strengths are his dribbling technique, long-range strikes and set piece delivery. His highlight reel makes for entertaining viewing and he’s not shy of a spectacular goal. His last strike came against Derby on April 11th; a trademark jink inside from the left before unleashing a curling right-foot strike into the far corner. Goals of this calibre coupled with his ‘free-kick specialist’ tag mean it’s no surprise Pritchard has quickly become a fan favourite.
Fresh off receiving a nomination for Football League Young Player of the Year in his previous loan spell at Swindon Town in League One; Pritchard has made the step up and proven his effectiveness in the Championship. The question now is whether or not he can continue his progress and make the transition to Premier League level with Spurs. He’s no doubt turned some heads at White Hart Lane where the current crop of attacking midfielders – with the exception of Christian Eriksen -have hardly set the world alight. Pochettino is rumoured to be a big fan and Pritchard will be buoyed by the emergence of Harry Kane and Ryan Mason; indicating young players will be given first team opportunities should they impress sufficiently.
Some doubts remain over Pritchard’s suitability to a Pochettino team given the requirement for hard work off the ball and high intensity pressing. Pritchard is lauded for his contribution on the ball but off it he has been guilty of neglecting his defensive duties at times. There were grumbles from some sections of the Brentford support earlier in the season about his work rate and selfish tendencies but by all accounts these aspects of his game have improved as the season has worn on. Pochettino will be confident that given a full pre-season under his charge; Pritchard will smooth out these kinks in his game.
There’s no doubting Spurs have a player of genuine quality of their hands and there’s every chance -given he adapts to the physical requirements – that Pritchard will be a part of their first team plans next season. Coming off the back of two hugely successful loan spells and into a team determined to promote youth; there’s never been a better time for Alex Pritchard to make his mark on the Premier League.
Michael Stevenson – Follow @ItsMickeyS on Twitter