Ryan Mason vs Tom Carroll: Which Tottenham midfielder is the better prospect?

Ryan Mason is the latest in a long line of youth talents to break into the Tottenham Hotspur first team.

Head To Head Mason vs Carroll

Mason scored his first goal for Spurs on September 24, netting the equaliser in a League Cup tie with Nottingham Forest.

Having impressed in that game as a substitute, he was awarded his first start for Spurs in the Premier League North London derby, and he put in a sold performance as the Lilywhites held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw.

He kept his place in the team to make his home Premier League debut as the club beat Southampton 1-0 on October 5, and already he has built up a reputation as a promising youngster.

The 23-year-old is being touted as breaking into a first-team regular this season, and his performances have warranted his continued stay in Mauricio Pochettino’s plans.

He looks to have supplanted fellow youth prospect Tom Carroll as the highest rated youngster in the Spurs system, with Carroll struggling for game-time on a loan-deal with Swansea, and, although Carroll is one-year younger, Mason looks to have made the bigger strides this season.

  SeasonMins PlayedAssistsKey PassesTotal PassPassing AccuracyTouchesAppearances
Ryan Mason 2014-2015 180 0 0 78 78.205128205128% 105 2
Thomas Carroll 2012-2013 78 1 1 100 84% 120 7

Carroll’s breakout year was in 2012/13, when he made seven appearances for Spurs, showing an awareness and talent on the ball synonymous with a Spanish influence. However, he featured for less minutes across those seven games than Mason has in just two this season, with Carroll’s 78 minute spell not reaching the full 90 minutes Mason has played twice this campaign.

Despite the increased game-time, Mason has actually performed worse than Carroll as a creative force, passing the ball less - with a reduced precision - and touching the ball fewer times. He has also yet to play a single key pass, whereas Carroll played one, which eventually became an assist.

Mason is seen as more of an English style box-to-box midfielder than Carroll, who has been praised for his ability on the ball as a deep-lying creator, so it is no surprise to see the latter as the more dominant ball-playing midfielder - and it is clear that Mason does have the larger impact in a defensive game.

  TacklesSuccessful InterceptionsClearancesDuels Won
Carroll 5 2 1 2
Mason 5 4 5 0

Despite Carroll winning an equal amount of tackles in less game time, Mason has completed more clearances and interceptions than his young compatriot, although he he is not overly adept at winning the ball in a duel with the opposition - something that Carroll's increased finesse allows him to do with ease.

With the impending international break, it remains to be seen whether Mason continues his run in the Spurs first-team, and, on current form, there is no reason for the youngster to be dropped. He has already had a larger impact that Tom Carroll did during his breakout season, and, with Carroll currently stalling his development with a Swansea side where he can get no minutes on the pitch, Mason could make the central midfield role his own - forcing Carroll to fight his way back into contention at White Hart Lane.

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