Why Alex Pritchard must be in the Tottenham squad to face Stoke City

Tottenham Alex Pritchard

Tottenham's lack of options in attack would be helped with the 22-year old's inclusion.

Alex Pritchard today marked his return to fitness with his first competitive match since being stretchered off with an ankle injury during England’s Under-21 European Championship in June, as reported on the club's official website.

He started for Spurs’ Under-21 team against Everton – alongside Hugo Lloris – and got a valuable 45 minutes under his belt. They were an eventful 45, with the tricky midfielder constantly worrying the Everton back line and grabbing two quick fire goals for himself.

The 22-year old tends not to do ordinary goals and the two against The Toffees were great finishes once again. The first came via an unstoppable free-kick - after the Everton keeper had just kept out a previous attempt - while the second was a beautifully controlled finish, driven past the keeper from the right side of the box.

His performance suggests a player raring to go and back to full fitness and the timing couldn’t be much better, with Spurs desperate for an injection of fresh blood up top.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men huffed and puffed against Manchester United on Sunday but rarely looked threatening in the final third and something needs to change before Stoke’s visit to White Hart Lane on Saturday.

His interrupted pre-season means Pritchard would ideally be eased into Spurs’ match-day squad but unless reinforcements arrive this week – Pochettino may have no choice but to throw the talented youngster into the fray.

Pritchard’s ability to commit defenders, and his turn of pace to get away from them, is a trait Spurs simply don’t possess enough of with Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen and Moussa Dembele/Erik Lamela supporting Harry Kane.

He already enjoys a great understanding with Kane and this should be exploited in some capacity this weekend. While probably too early for a start, the academy graduate should be included amongst the substitutes at the very least.

Should Spurs reach 65 minutes on the clock with the game not going their way, at least Pochettino will have a card to play – something painfully lacking against United.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch