HomeOTHEREPLJake Livermore | Emerging Spurs star?

Jake Livermore | Emerging Spurs star?

It has been more than a decade since Spurs’ academy last produced a player of note. Much has been made of the current crop of youngsters coming through the ranks at White Hart Lane though, and central midfielder Jake Livermore sits at the top of that class.

Jake Livermore

After making his first Premier League start at Old Trafford, young Livermore has since made five appearances – four coming from the bench. His second career start on Tyneside at the weekend demonstrated both the qualities and the shortcomings of this rough diamond.

Livermore’s ball winning qualities are his most important asset. He has won 87% of his tackles and 69% of his possession duels so far and this compares strongly with similar players at Spurs. Scott Parker’s completion rates, for example, are comparable although he has made substantially more of both. Livermore’s defensive abilities demonstrate why he has been occasionally deployed at centre back in preseason and while on loan last season.

He usually lines up as a defensive midfielder, ostensibly his job is to screen the back four and allow the creative players ahead of him to do their work. Livermore, though, has demonstrated a willingness to do more. He gets forward, scoring in the 5-0 away win in the Europa League and winning the ball deep in Newcastle territory to set Adebayor away for the penalty on Sunday.

His passing too, it must be noted, is of real quality. He has completed 86% of his 117 passes in the Premier League this season. Not bad for only 201 minutes of playing time. He looks forward with the ball too, sending only 15% of his passes back towards Brad Friedel. He has created two goal scoring chances, both leading to shots, and has mixed his game by running with the ball successfully twice in both of his starts so far.

At Newcastle, Livermore showed both sides to his game. He won the ball eight times, bringing him to 16 times for the season. That compares well with Scott Parker who has won possession 38 times in his five games. Both average winning possession seven times per game. However, Livermore looked nervous at times and some of his passes, particularly in the first half, lacked conviction. His second half performance was much more assured and he looked solid in a Spurs team fighting a tough battle.

Jake Livermore is not yet a star. He will struggle to command a starting role in Tottenham’s exceedingly strong midfield. The 21 year old has time on his side to grow into a very strong player. His quality in both attack and defence as well as his energy combine to make an exciting young player. If he continues to improve, he may yet be the next academy success story.

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