Speaking during BT Sport’s coverage of Fiorentina v Spurs in the Europa League on Thursday evening, Clive Allen has explained how loan spells away from Tottenham helped Ryan Mason develop into a better player.
Allen said: “It’s a prestigious night for him, he has a great love for the club. Obviously he had to go out on loan. I think in a way he has developed both physically and mentally in the lower leagues before establishing himself here.”
Mason captained Spurs in the Europa League game against La Viola, putting in a solid performance in a 1-1 draw.
The 24-year-old midfielder has struggled with injury this season, limiting his game time, and even when he has been fit, the good form of players ahead of him has stopped him truly impressing.
Mason has started just five Premier League games, managing just 13 appearances in all competitions over the whole season.
However, he is clearly liked by head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who promoted him into his first-team last season when many believed the midfielder’s career at White Hart Lane was going nowhere.
Mason is undoubtedly a first-team player, and the captaincy proves that he is held in high regard by Pochettino, and Allen has stated that the loan spells Mason underwent have helped his development.
His early career was all spent away from White Hart Lane, spending time on loan with Yeovil, Doncaster, Millwall and Swindon Town in the Football League. He also joined French club Lorient in 2013, but failed to make a single appearance for the club, although that spell is believed to have help him grow and mature.
Allan believes that Mason grew both physically and mentally whilst away from Spurs, and his rise to prominence under Pochettino is testament to how well the loan system can work when used correctly.