Which of Spurs' 15 loan stars can challenge the first team next year?

Tom Carroll low quality

With talented youngsters, fringe, and out of favour players away from WHL this year, there are plenty that could be back in Tottenham colours in 2014-15.

Tottenham have been a club that have benefitted significantly from their use of the loan system, with young players such as Andros Townsend, Steven Caulker and Danny Rose all returning from spells away from the club to join the first team picture.

With a huge 15 players on loan, the third highest in the league after Chelsea and Manchester United, there is plenty of belief that more than one of these loanees can come back and challenge the current squad.

Below we look at several that may be in with a chance of impacting the match day squad:

Benoit Assou-Ekotto

Many will question whether 'Benni' should have been allowed to leave the club at all considering the problems Spurs have had with filling at left back over the season. Assou-Ekotto has been a consistent high level performer as QPR narrowly missed out on automatic promotion, turning out 32 times for the Hoops. There are several factors to take into consideration as to whether he'll be back in the first team squad next season, with whoever is Spurs manager next year fancying him being up there, while the avoidance of a charge relating to Nicolas Anelka's quenelle gesture naturally key to his continued career at White Hart Lane.

Jake Livermore

Few would have expected the Enfield boy to have such a fine season for the Tigers alongside former Spur Tom Huddlestone. Livermore has long been regarded a decent player, but lacking the ability to really seize a place in the Tottenham midfield. The England cap has featured in every game bar those against his parent club, scoring 3 times and impressing with his developed box-to-box play. Sherwood recently intimated that he would include serial loanee (Hull is his seventh loan club) in the first team picture next year, but then, Sherwood is unlikely to be in charge come August.

Lewis Holtby

Another young midfielder to have impressed in the Premier League since leaving White Hart Lane for guaranteed playing time. Holtby has been one of the catalysts of Fulham's recent revival, and the West Londoners may be eager to make him a permanent signing if they manage to stay up. No one is doubting the former Schalke man's class, after all he has already won caps for Gemany, but seeing as his main rival for a starting role, Christian Eriksen, has grown into one of Spurs' most important players, may mean it would be greedy of the club to hold onto him when he won't be able to find the time on the pitch he deserves.

Tom Carroll

Long heralded as one of the club's genuine prospects, Carroll has enjoyed his most successful season in terms of appearances while at QPR, having featured 25 times despite missing nearly two months due to injury. The classy playmaker can count the last three Tottenham managers as major fans, but it will be the next one that decides whether he really has what it takes to make it in North London, and Carroll himself has admitted that he may need to leave if it is necessary for his career. 

Iago Falque

This has been a breakthrough season for the former Barcelona winger, who has enjoyed regular football in a top European division for the first time. 24 appearances and 3 goals have helped Rayo Vallecano into mid-table security, and have made him a genuine possible first-teamer were he to return to White Hart Lane. At 24-years-old, Falque will either be given a chance with the Spurs squad or be sold in the summer should he be surplus to the manager's requirements.

Alex Pritchard

The very fact Pritchard has been nominated as one of the three Football League's most promising players, despite playing a division below the other two nominees, shows just how good this young attacking midfielder is, and why he could be the next Tottenham youngster to really make an impression at the Lane. A phenomenal 8 goals and 11 assists for Swindon this season, on the back of really promising youth campaigns have had other clubs sniffing after the England Under-20 man, and don't be surprised at all to see him feature heavily in the side's pre-season fixtures. 

Ryan Fredericks

The Millwall loanee impressed in a Europa League appearance before heading to the Den, and may be given extra opportunities at right back next year given the disappointing performances from Spurs stand-in Kyle Naughton, though his 13 appearances for the Lions haven't helped them as far away from the relegation places as Ian Holloway would have hoped.

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