Spurs youth coach singles out 17-year-old for praise following Middlesbrough display

Tottenham Hotspur's development squad lost 4-0 to Middlesbrough at the weekend.

Tottenham Hotspur under-18 manager Kieran McKenna has praised Ismail Azzaoui on the club's official website.

Spurs' youth-side went down 4-0 to a strong Middlesbrough team at the weekend, but McKenna was keen to look at the positives after the match.

Although he admitted that his side's second-half performance, where they conceded three goals, was disappointing he was pleased with the role that Azzaoui played throughout the contest.

"We played some good football at times and created a couple of opportunities through Ismail Azzaoui, but Middlesbrough always had a threat – especially down the left-hand side," he said.

“Going in 1-0 at half-time I thought we were still very much in the game but in the second half, once they got their second goal, it was disappointing in terms of how we managed the last 30 minutes.

“I thought we played a little bit too open, went chasing the goal in a little bit of a naive fashion and left ourselves open in defence.”

Azzaoui is regarded as one of Tottenham's most exciting talents and he will be pleased to be continuing to earn praise, even despite the side's heavy loss.

The 17-year-old is yet to make his Spurs debut, but if he keeps putting in performances of his current quality then he should have a chance of breaking through soon.

Azzaoui, who is a jinking winger, plays in a position which Spurs' senior squad have struggled with and Mauricio Pochettino will be keeping a close eye on his development.

The likes of Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela and Andros Townsend have all been inconsistent this campaign and Azzaoui could be a secret weapon for Spurs further down the line – although much will depend on their summer transfer business.

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