Last weekend, Dane Scarlett became Spurs’ youngest Premier League player in history. Here are the Top 10:
1. Dane Scarlett – 16 years, 10 months and 14 days
7th February 2021 v West Brom
He might have held the record as Spurs’ youngest player in all competitions for less than two months, but Dane Scarlett’s record breaking Premier League debut may stay intact for a little longer (depending on whether Alfie Devine makes his league bow before the end of the season).
Scarlett has been in lethal form at youth level this season – despite starting in the Under-18s he has moved through the ranks due to the sheer weight of goals. It won’t be long until we see the name ‘Scarlett’ featuring on Premier League scoresheets too.
2. Stephen Carr – 17 years and 28 days
26th September 1993 v Ipswich Town
A modern-day Spurs great, Stephen Carr made his debut for the club less than a month past his 17th birthday, and held the record of the youngest Tottenham player to play in the Premier League for the best part of three decades.
Despite his debut in 1993, it wasn’t until the 1996-97 season that Carr became Spurs’ first-choice right-back, but he made up for lost time and racked up 272 appearances – as well as winning the League Cup in 1999 – before his departure in 2004.
Spells with Newcastle and Birmingham City followed and Carr retired in 2013 after 500 club appearances and 44 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
3. Andy Turner – 17 years, 4 months and 23 days
15th August 1992 v Southampton
Andy Turner’s debut for Spurs was a significant one in more ways than one – it was the first game in the inaugural season of the newly formed Premier League. He certainly made a decent impression, starting the next game and making 21 appearances that season, chipping in with four goals. His strike against Everton made Turner the Premier League’s youngest-ever goalscorer at the time.
However, the arrival of Ossie Ardiles as manager saw Turner drop out of favour and, after successive loan spells, Turner left Tottenham in 1996, having made just three more appearances for the club. A journeyman career followed before his retirement in 2008.
4. Philip Ifil – 17 years, 8 months and 27 days
14th August 2004 v Liverpool
Philip Ifil made his debut on the opening day of the 2004-05 season, and was considered a real prospect, having appeared for various England youth sides too.
However, it wasn’t to be for a player who some considered could emerge as Stephen Carr’s long-term successor at right-back. After making just four more appearances for Spurs, Ifil moved to Colchester United in 2008. He is now playing for Sun Sport Athletic in the Watford Sunday League.
5. Adel Taarabt – 17 years, 9 months and 8 days
4th March 2007 v West Ham
‘We have found Zidane’.
Those were the thoughts of Jermaine Jenas when Adel Taarabt showed up at Tottenham in 2007, with the 17 year old making his debut in the dying moments of a 4-3 classic against West Ham.
Fast forward to 2014 and Taarabt’s manager, Harry Redknapp has described him as ‘the worst professional I have ever come across’. By that time, Taarabt had already left Spurs after just 15 appearances and his time at QPR looks to be coming at an end too. Another seven years later and, at the ages of 31, Taarabt looks to have finally settled, becoming the heart beat of Benfica’s midfield and playing the best football of his life.
6. Troy Parrott – 17 years, 10 months and 3 days
7th December 2019 v Burnley
Troy Parrott made his Republic of Ireland debut before his Premier League bow, and it’s clear he’s got a bright future for both club and country.
Despite a difficult spell with Millwall last year, Parrott remains a major talent and he is now at Ipswich Town where he has made an encouraging start. Let’s not forget, this is a player who made his debut for Spurs at the age of 17 and spent most of last season in the first-team squad. He has also scored 31 goals in just 38 games for the youth sides since joining the club in 2017.
7. Gareth Bale – 18 years, 1 month and 10 days
26th August 2007 v Manchester United
Gareth Bale made his debut in a 1-0 loss to Manchester United and for some time, it looked like he would never taste victory in Lilywhite. 24 games went by without a win and it’s reported that he came close to a £3 million move to Birmingham City.
It’s a good job he didn’t. Bale went on to become one of Tottenham’s greatest players in modern history, with 26 goals in 44 games and a host of personal accolades in the 2012-13 season earning himself a world-record move to Real Madrid. Two La Ligas, a Copa del Rey, a Supercopa de Espana, four Champions Leagues, two Super Cups and four Club World Cups then followed.
A return to Spurs hasn’t yet worked out, but with 59 goals in 218 appearances, his place as one of the best players this century is assured.
8. Jamie Slabber – 18 years, 2 months and 13 days
16th March 2003 v Liverpool
With 11 minutes to go and with Spurs 2-1 down to Liverpool, an 18 year old striker was brought on in the search of an equaliser. Steven Gerrard extended Liverpool’s lead, but Jamie Slabber would have a hand in a late goal for Tottenham, knocking the ball down for Teddy Sheringham to volley home. However, that assist in the 3-2 loss would be Slabber’s first and last contribution in a Spurs shirt and he never appeared in lilywhite again.
After loan spells with AB and Swindon, Enfield-born joined Aldershot in 2005 and spent the majority of his career between various non-League sides. After fourth spell with Grays in 2017-18, Slabber retired from the game.
9. Sol Campbell – 18 years, 2 months and 17 days
5th December 1992 v Chelsea
He played for Spurs for a bit. He left.
10. Oliver Skipp – 18 years, 2 months and 19 days
5th December 2018 v Southampton
Tottenham’s ‘future captain’ made his Premier League debut in the dying moments of the 3-1 win over Southampton, and has since gone on to make another 14 league appearances, with a total of 23 in all competitions.