Why highly-rated Tottenham prospect may have to leave the club this summer

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Tottenham Hotspur's Tom Carroll has been left behind by the standards that Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb have set this season.

It looks increasingly unlikely that Tom Carroll will have the ability to break into Tottenham Hotspur's first-team, with both Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb jumping ahead of him in the pecking order at White Hart Lane.

There has been a lot of excitement about Carroll's future at Spurs since his time in the youth set-up, but he may be just short of the quality required to make an impact at Tottenham.

The central midfielder is unquestionably a talented player, but with expectations rising at Tottenham he may not have the ability to keep up.

Carroll has been sent out on loan to Swansea City this season to gain first-team experience, but his time away from the club has allowed two of his former academy teammates to force their way into Mauricio Pochettino's line-up. 

Bentaleb and Mason have formed the axis of Tottenham's midfield and their performances have been on another level to Carroll's so far this season. 

  Chances created per gameShots per gameTouches per gamePasses per gamePassing AccuracyForward passes per gameAppearancesMins Played
Ryan Mason 0.83 1.5 63.55 49.22 81.15% 17.5 18 1319
Nabil Bentaleb 0.61 0.92 69.3 57.15 86.13% 15.46 13 1028
Tom Carroll 0.41 0.33 47.58 40.16 88.79% 12.25 12 631

The two Spurs players are ahead of Carroll in nearly every area of their attacking play, with the Swansea loanee only leading the passing accuracy figures of the trio. 

His 88% accuracy when looking for a teammate shows how impressive his distribution can be, but it is worth noting that he has been far less ambitious when on the ball than his Tottenham teammates.

Bentaleb and Mason are constantly looking to move the ball into more advanced zones and are, therefore, taking more risks in possession - meaning their accuracy will be slightly decreased. 

Elsewhere, the Tottenham starters are ahead of Carroll in almost every area. They are creating more chances, having more shots and being more involved than the 22-year-old, and it is hard to see how Carroll will be able to displace them. 

The England Under-21 international will, of course, be looking to make an impact back at Spurs when he returns in pre-season, but it is not like he offers more than their current options in a defensive sense either.

  Tackles per gameHeaders per gameInterceptions per gameDefensive duels won per gameClearances per gameAppearancesMins Played
Ryan Mason 2.55 0.44 1.22 5.27 1.33 18 1319
Nabil Bentaleb 1.69 1 2.3 4.38 1.61 13 1028
Tom Carroll 1 0 0.91 1.66 1.33 12 631

Bentaleb and Mason win more headers, make more tackles and complete more interceptions than Carroll and it seems like he could be the odd one out.

With Tottenham already having Etienne Capoue and Benjamin Stambouli in reserve and Josh Onomah and Dele Alli breaking through, they are loaded with options they can use at defensive midfield and Carroll's chances are looking bleak. 

The youngster may well become a decent Premier League midfielder, but it seems unlikely that he will be able to achieve that at White Hart Lane and a summer move could be likely - with Spurs setting a £5 million asking price for him, according to the Daily Mail

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