Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Micky Hazard took credit for the discovery and development of current midfielder Ryan Mason on talkSPORT yesterday.
Mason has blossomed into one of Tottenham’s best players under Mauricio Pochettino, but Hazard has explained that he spotted quality in the midfielder which he helped to nurture from a very early age.
“From the age of six I used to coach Ryan and from the age of eight I used to coach him on a weekly basis,” said Hazard.
“I can't tell you how proud it makes me feel that one of my discoveries has made it into the England team - The one thing that stood out for me when he was a youngster was his football brain.”
Mason’s form this season has seen him called into the England camp for games against Lithuania and Italy and it will be interesting to see if he gets much game time over the course of the two matches.
There are arguably more experienced players in the Tottenham ranks and Roy Hodgson may feel as though it’s a risk to start Mason as soon as he’s come into the squad.
However, he’s excelled under pressure in big matches for Tottenham and will be raring to go as he looks to make an impression on the biggest stage.
Mason is someone who has been coached and guided by a variety of different managers, with Hazard among the first to start teaching him about the game.
If Pochettino can now develop him again and improve his weaknesses looking ahead to next season, Tottenham will have one awesome player in their team.