Nathan Oduwa needs a Spurs pre-season like last summer if he has a hope of making it at White Hart Lane

Tottenham's Nathan Oduwa (L) in action against West Ham's Reece Oxford

The winger initially impressed after moving to Rangers last season, but has had a disappointing last few months.

Tottenham's Nathan Oduwa (L) in action against West Ham's Reece OxfordTottenham's Nathan Oduwa (L) in action against West Ham's Reece Oxford

Young Tottenham winger and former Rangers loanee Nathan Oduwa should be eager to approach the pre-season with the same belief and drive as he utilised last summer, where the youngster made a real impression on spectators and staff with his match-affecting ability.

Oduwa went from a promising youngster at the club to one of the most exciting players at Mauricio Pochettino's disposable during the pre-season friendlies in 2015.

The forward featured heavily during the early matches of the summer schedule, and seemed to be the one youngster without much first team football to his name to really make an impression.

The skilful 20-year-old starred with his assists and dribbling against Reading and Brentford and his goalscoring in the wins over Stevenage and Southend.

They may only have been lower league opposition, but considering several first teamers were also involved in those matches, it was somewhat of a surprise to see Oduwa catching the eye so much, and at that point of the summer it was no stretch to imagine that he would be a wildcard for the first-team squad in the coming campaign, certainly in the Europa League and domestic cup matches.

Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates scoring their first goal with Nathan Oduwa (L) and Nicky LawRangers' James Tavernier celebrates scoring their first goal with Nathan Oduwa (L) and Nicky Law

As it turned out, the youngster sealed a loan to one of Britain's biggest clubs when he joined Scottish giants Rangers in August, and the player initially went about embarrassing opposition defences. However, Oduwa gradually slipped out of favour in Glasgow, as new Gers boss Mark Warburton found a regular and dependable side to sweep aside the Scottish Championship, with Barrie McKay often utilised instead out wide and interest in signing Michael O’Halloran on a permanent deal.

Reports were that though he had the tricks and the flair, Oduwa lacked the mental and physical strength to get up from tough challenges from opposition fullbacks, while as a modern winger, he was unable to add to the defensive side of his game.

Oduwa returned to Spurs in January, and a short disappointing loan at League One strugglers Colchester United did little to get him back on the right track.

With reports in May from Sky Sports that the player was reluctant to sign a new deal, and had switched his international allegiance from England to Nigeria, Oduwa appeared eager to use the coming Olympics as an opportunity to emphasise that he deserved a chance either in the first team at Spurs or another outfit.

As it turned out, the winger has ended up being dropped from Nigeria's provisional squad for the games in Rio, and Oduwa now finds himself at a crossroads so early in his career.

With the undoubted talent he has, and with an extra year of experience, albeit a mixed 12 months, Oduwa should take to pre-season this summer with the same vigour and fearlessness that he did this time last year.

He notched nearly 20 appearances for a huge club like Rangers in front of a large crowd at Ibrox, and he would have been introduced to genuine expectation of getting good results for the first time in his club career.

The youngster should utilise this alongside the opportunity Spurs academy players will surely get with so many first team members away because of international commitments and delayed resting periods. He wants a better contract or bigger role at Tottenham, he probably has this summer to prove to Pochettino that he deserves those things.

Of course, if Oduwa continues to feel a sense of entitlement due to his ability, it may be wise for Spurs to cut their losses, but having seen the advances young players like Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane have taken under Pochettino, the winger would do well to realise that he could find few clubs better for harnessing young talent than the North Londoners.

Nathan Oduwa scores a goal for TottenhamNathan Oduwa scores a goal for Tottenham

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