Born and brought up in Essex, Alex Pritchard had his first taste of football as a kid in the youth set up of the popular Premier League club, West Ham United. It didn’t take him long to make the switch across the city to a bigger London club, Tottenham. He was a popular kid in the youth setup and was constantly making appearances and performing well for the u18s.
His first major step came in 2011, when he was called up for the Europa League squad for Spurs. Did not debut in either of the 2 games against PAOK and Rubin Kazan but that made the required impact as a footballer on little Alex.
He stole the show in the u19s next-gen series for Spurs. An international competition for the youth squads. He scored 4 goals against the best teams in Europe and not a shocker that 3 of them came against Inter Milan and PSV. He followed it up the next year in the same competition with goals against Barcelona and Liverpool. He was on the watch list for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool but he committed to Tottenham by signing an extension.
Having enjoyed successful loans at Peresborough, Brentford and Swindon town, he is now loaned to West Brom where he gains his first taste of Premier League football.
What type of player is he?
Known for his pace, Pritchard is played mostly out wide. A winger who does not like to take part in much of the defensive work, which he will need to alter to fit in under Pochettino. Just 22 years of age, competition for places has been the biggest worry at Spurs but he has quite a few assets that he can use to his advantage, such as his dead ball abilities. He is as good as fellow u21 international, James Ward Prowse, probably better as Alex finds the net on far more occasions than the youngster from Southampton. Pritchard can become an able back up to both Lamela and Eriksen, who are currently the main free kick takers at the club.
For a winger, his goals from open play tally is quite high. 18 goals combined at both Swindon and Brentford. Given they are not major clubs in the PL the tally is still amazing for a young pacey winger whose job is mostly to create and not convert. He was even nominated for the League One young player of the year in 2014-15 thanks to his performances and converting chances.
His technical ability and reading of the game is on par with some of the best youngsters in the game currently. He can control the game with his passing, distribution and leading the side. The control and swiftness that he can apply on an impossible pass between the lines and finding the magic area between the lines of defenders is a skill that most players find hard to master but Pritchard has the potential to do it with ease. Hopefully, under Pulis the young winger has developed and will be a more than useful asset for Pochettino at Spurs when his loan spell ends.
What lies ahead?
He reminds about the youngsters Pochettino has so far developed in England. The one thing Alex lacks is the passion and stubbornness that most young players show. The desire to win the ball back. That needs to improve and if he can show his determination to adapt and do the dirty work at Spurs when required, he will blossom brilliantly at the North London Club.