Ex West Ham man compares Marcus Edwards to Lionel Messi

Tottenham's Marcus Edwards and Manchester United's Timothy Fosu Mensah in action

The Tottenham youngster featured against Juventus on Tuesday, and the former defender suggested he had characteristics similar to the Barcelona star.

England's Marcus EdwardsEngland's Marcus Edwards

Tottenham Hotspur starlet Marcus Edwards made his first public appearance as a first team player under Mauricio Pochettino during the club's 2-1 defeat to Juventus in Melbourne, and one former rival bestowed a particularly generous comparison on the youngster, during Sky Sports' coverage of the game.

The England Under-18 attacking midfielder has been a much hyped youngster for several years, and really caught the eye as he took to the field midway through the second half at the MCG.

Tottenham's Shayon Harrison looks dejected after a missed chanceTottenham's Marcus Edwards looks dejected after a missed chance

And former West Ham and Fulham defender Tony Gale, commentating on the match for Sky, was waxing lyrical about the youngster once he appeared and brightened up proceedings.

“You can already tell that Edwards has really tight close control," Gale said on Sky Sports. "He loves touching the ball and it doesn’t go far away from him. He’s spinning away a lot with it in his possession.

"You can see that he likes to get his left foot on the ball to keep control of it, a bit like Messi.

“He’s got ability that kid, you can see how he has the ball like it’s on a bit of string."

Aritz ElustondoLionel Messi

Gale spent 10 years at Upton Park, and still writes for West Ham's official website. The Hammers are famous for producing talented young English players, but in recent seasons Tottenham have been the side to contribute potential Three Lions stars.

Of course, comparisons to Messi are a dangerous to make, but anyone that watched the match will not have failed to be impressed with Edwards' impact on the game, which is even more impressive considering he is just 17-years-old.

Agile, quick and with astonishing close control, Edwards showed no fear as he came up against the Serie A champions.

He demanded the ball and found several pockets of space between the opposition's midfield and attack, attacking those in front of him and dribbling past more than one player.

Edwards made one great run into the box, just letting the ball get away from him off his chest as he was about to shoot on goal.

Quickly, Juve defenders realised that the Spurs man had the flair and ability to take them on, and refrained from challenging him too early.

Tottenham's Marcus Edwards and Manchester United's Timothy Fosu Mensah in actionTottenham's Marcus Edwards and Manchester United's Timothy Fosu Mensah in action

Whether Edwards fulfils the promise he looks to have won't be known for some years, but there is certainly reason for supporters to be excited ahead of the club's next match, against Atletico Madrid on Friday.

With rumours that Edwards is set to get a first team squad number and action this season, it may not be the last they see him of this year either.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch