Marcus Edwards claimed there was no added motivation in playing against his former club when interviewed immediately after Tuesday’s match but it didn’t look that way out on the pitch. Edwards played like a young man with a point to prove for Sporting Lisbon against Tottenham.
The 23- year-old, born and raised in Enfield and a Spurs player from the age of eight until he was 20, was the excellent performer as Sporting stunned Conte’s side at Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Spurs couldn’t live with him in the first half, his speediness on the break making him a dangerous outlet from as early as the seventh minute, when he motored forward and teed up Pedro Goncalves for a low shot which needed a sprawling save from Hugo Lloris.
There were plenty further eye- catching moments to follow but the best of them came briefly before half- time when Edwards, once compared to Lionel Messi by Mauricio Pochettino, grounded on a magical run the man himself would have been proud of.
Edwards completed five dribbles in the first half alone- two further than anyone else managed in the entire game- and there was intelligence to his play too, evident in the appointments he took up between the lines as Sporting’s false nine.
His version was a continuation of a fine start to the season in Portugal, where he has flourished, first with Vitoria de Guimaraes; now with Sporting, and it’ll leave some at Spurs red- faced.
His babyhood club had high opportunities for him in his youth but a player long regarded as the most talented of his generation at Spurs was vended in 2019 having only been swung one elderly appearance. How they must lament that now. Edwards looks destined for big things. perhaps he always was.