Have Tottenham Hotspur made a mistake by rewarding Ryan Mason a new contract?

Nathan Baker and Ryan Mason

Ryan Mason has signed a new contract that will keep him at Spurs until 2020.

Mason has enjoyed a breakthrough season this year, and the BBC have reported that the home-grown 23-year-old has signed a new five-and-a-half deal with the White Hart Lane club.

The Enfield-born midfielder progressed through the Lilywhites’ academy, and made his first-team debut in a Europa League tie in 2012. A series of loan deals away from the club - spending time with Lorient, although he failed to make an appearance, and Swindon - followed his debut, before he returned to White Hart Lane at the start of this season, and made an impact when he scored his first goal for Spurs in their League Cup victory over Nottingham Forest.

The youngster has since become a key part of Mauricio Pochettino’s first-team plans, having made his first start for the Lilywhites in the Premier League fixture with Arsenal just a few days after the League Cup game.

Whilst fans will be delighted that the club have ensured one of their brightest talents is signed to the club for the foreseeable future, Spurs themselves have made a bold move in offering such a long contract to a man who has just 22 professional appearances to his name for the club.

There is no denying that Mason has impressed this year, but, having appeared so few times, it is hard to tell whether he is merely enjoying a positive run of form, or if he is actually as talented as his performances would make people believe.

With his Spurs future under doubt at the start of the campaign, he was obviously willing to do anything to impress the club enough so that they rewarded him with a new deal. But now that the deal has been agreed, there is no reason for him to aim to any personal goal, and that could potentially impact his performances in a negative way.

Although born locally, and ultimately turning out weekly for his boyhood team, Mason has reached the stage where his future is assured for the next five years, meaning that, regardless of performance levels, he is guaranteed a future. If a shorter contract was signed, the midfielder would always be wary that he would not be offered the next one, and using such a carrot-and-stick approach could truly entice Mason into becoming a top quality Premier League star.

One would hope that the deal does not go to his head, and that he keeps giving his all for the North London club, but there is a real fear that now the final aim has been achieved, there is no reason for the 23-year-old to try and impress anyone when he takes to the field.

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