Will Tottenham regret releasing Victor Zapata-Caicedo?

Tottenham Hotspur confirmed they had released six academy players yesterday, including one who has already attracted interest from Sunderland.

It was not just David Bentley and William Gallas who didn't have their Tottenham contracts renewed, six youngsters who had spent two seasons as academy scholars also saw their time at the club come to an end.

The names of those cut from the club's books are Tom Gardiner, Mason Bush, William Ekong, Billy Grainger, Sam Smith, along with Victor Zapata-Caicedo.

All six will be aiming to prove Spurs wrong over the coming years of their career, and the club no doubt wish them well in their attempts to do that.

Zapata-Caicedo is perhaps the most interesting name on the bunch, a striker who was stuck behind the queue of several older and perhaps more talented youngsters.

Jon Obika, Harry Kane, Shaquille Coulthirst and Souleymane Coulibaly make up a quartet of under-21 and below youth strikers who were above him in queue for first team football, but have barely got a kick themselves.

Zapata-Caicedo is the youngest of the bunch, currently 18-years-old, and made just the solitary appearance for the club's under-21 side earlier this season.

The rest of his campaign has been spent with the under-18s, who failed to make the final stages of the Premier League competition, which was won by Fulham.

Zapata-Caicedo was born in Colombia and raised in Hackney, and despite struggling for the Spurs under-18 side in the first half of the season he ended it strongly.

He bagged a hat-trick against West Brom in a 4-0 win in February, and then a hat-trick past Stoke in March in a 3-1 win but neither were enough to see Spurs get past the second group stage of in the competition.

He also netted a brace against Sunderland in a 6-3 win in April which clearly impressed the Black Cats coaching staff.

Just three weeks later he was taken on trial by Sunderland, permitted due to his contract running down and possibly an indication from Spurs he would be free to look elsewhere, coming on as a substitute to have a headed goal disallowed for the Wearsiders in their 4-3 play-off semi-final loss to Fulham.

No announcement has been made from Sunderland as to whether they will be taking him on or offering him a contract next season, but Zapata-Caicedo will hope he has done enough to earn a chance with one Premier League club next season.

He will hope to seize his chances in the under-21 Premier League and establish himself as a future star, who now has a point to prove.

Tottenham's academy is one of the best in the country, and in defence of their decision, this means they are rarely wrong when it comes to talented youngsters and will have deliberated hard over their decision with regard to the 18-year-old.

If the youngster does sign with Sunderland he may just find his route to the first team smoother than had he stayed at Spurs. Will he make Spurs regret their decision? It is too early to say, but he has a chance to do so and that will be his motivation from here on in.

image: © chilangoco

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