New Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino faces a big building job on his hands at White Hart Lane this summer and is likely to oversee plenty of exits and in-comings as he looks to create a tight-knit squad. However, despite the amount of decisions he faces this summer, what to do with Tom Carroll will perhaps be one of his biggest.
The England under-21 international has always been touted for the very top at White Hart Lane and the former Spurs manager, Tim Sherwood, was a great believer in the starlet’s ability.
In 2011, Sherwood spoke out on the players potential and said he was good enough for Barcelona, commenting.
‘He could play for them [Barcelona], no question," Sherwood said. "He’s got the lot. He’s technically good enough, sees a pass, can pop it round the corner and only Jake Livermore runs more than him in a game’.
However, after two underwhelming loan spells in the Championship, the question marks over his future at the club have begun to appear.
At Derby County, he could be forgiven for his poor performances due to his age and taking into account the situation at Derby was far from ideal. Nevertheless, he did prove to stand-out as one of the worst performers in the Rams side that finished 12th in the league.
Two years later, he was brought to Queens Park Rangers under the guidance of another former Spurs boss in Harry Redknapp. Despite winning the plaudits early on in the season, the QPR supporters quickly grew tired of his ineffective performances in the Championship and once again picked him out as one of their poorer players in the side.
So, what should Pochettino do with Carroll?
He has the potential to be a good player for Spurs, there is no doubt about it. He has great vision and good technique, but will often come undone by big and strong players due to his slight build and lack of positional awareness.
He will sit in among the play in the middle of the park, which is his game, but releases the ball quicker than he gets it and often to a player five or 10 yards away. He does lack the killer pass, creativity and surging runs that would be expected of a similar style player in the Premier League.
I believe that another loan spell to a Championship club would be the best fit for the Tottenham Hotspur youngster as a Premier League loan would perhaps do him more harm than good.
In the case of getting a chance at Spurs, currently he is quite a way off the standard required, but selling him could come back to haunt them if he does finally realise his potential.