Coulibaly is not the only young striker looking to make an impact at Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham WHL

The 18-year-old Ivorian has said he hopes to break into the Tottenham Hotspur team, perhaps even next season, but there are plenty of rivals in Spurs' youth set up who Coulibaly will be competing with.

With their U21 side well clear at the top of their Premier League Elite Group, and the U19 team knocking out favourites PSG in the NextGen tournament, there is a growing buzz of excitement around the youth set up at Tottenham Hotspur.

This was heightened by a series of interesting loan moves at the end of the January transfer window, with Ryan Mason, Alex Pritchard and Souleymane Coulibaly all heading away from White Hart Lane to try and gain some first experience.

Coulibaly, who is at Serie B side Grosseto, has now come out saying that he is hoping to make an impact at a senior level for Tottenham Hotspur, perhaps even as soon as next season.

However Coulibaly is not the only young striker keen to make their mark in Spurs' side, and there are others who arguably have a better claim to a senior place.

Shaq Coulthirst actually made the bench for Spurs in the match at the weekend against Liverpool, with William Gallas pulling out during the warm up. Coulthirst is having a fine season, most notably netting a hat trick away at Barcelona in the NextGen group stages.

Jon Obika has gone one better than Coulthirst, playing in Spurs' FA Cup loss to Leeds in January and also the Carling Cup win over Carlisle. Obika is currently on loan at Charlton, and would certainly be in the mix if Spurs were to dip into their youth team for a striker.

Harry Kane is the man with the best claim of all, having looked at one stage like he was going to be a regular in the first team squad this season. An injury ravaged spell on loan at Norwich has slowed his development, but he is probably at the top of the pecking order in terms of Spurs' youth strikers. Lower down the list in the under-18s is Victor Zapata-Caicedo, who is promising and scored a hattrick recently, but remains a while off the first team.

Also nearing first team action are Alex Pritchard, Ryan Mason and Christian Ceballos, none of which are out and out strikers but all of whom have a fine goal scoring record in the youth ranks this season. Pritchard is perhaps the most highly rated player in Spurs' academy, and might be expecting first team action next year is he is going to stay at the club.

Coulibaly clearly has plenty of potential himself, but there's no doubt he will face a challenge to edge out other youngsters to a first team place at Tottenham Hotspur. Andre Villas-Boas should try to get as many of these players involved in pre-season friendlies this summer, as one or two could well be important players in next year's campaign.

Which youth players would you like to see in the Spurs senior squad next season?

image: © hollidaypics

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