Arsenal great Alan Smith comments on Tottenham Hotspur’s Ryan Mason following North London derby

Former Arsenal star Alan Smith says that Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Ryan Mason needs to make sure that his body can cope with the physical demands of the Premier League.

Ryan Mason has been on the books of Tottenham Hotspur since 2007, but he could make his Premier League debut only at the weekend.

The 23-year-old attacking midfielder started the North London derby against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Mason played the entire 90 minutes and gave a good account of himself too - taking 51 touches of the ball, playing 25 accurate passes and 18 forward passes.

The young Englishman’s career so far has been stricken with injuries and loan spells at lower division teams have not gone exactly according to play.

But now that Mason is in the Tottenham first-team fold, he needs to keep himself fit to secure his place in the line-up in the long term.

That’s the opinion of Arsenal great Alan Smith, who wrote in The Telegraph: ‘The big test will be whether his body can handle the challenge because another injury now would set him right back.

‘Mason badly needs a good run of games to gain proper match fitness and, at the same time, build some resilience into that slight frame’.

By playing him in the North London derby, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino clearly showed that he has faith in Mason’s abilities.

It is now up to Mason to build on his very encouraging performance against Arsenal and step up to the standard that the Premier League demands.

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