Spurs could have bigger talent than Bergvall in 18 y/o Romero clone

    Tottenham Hotspur are making progress under Ange Postecoglou but there is still much work to do before the club reaches the desired standard.

    Postecoglou had caught the eye for his work in Scotland with Celtic but after acceding to the dugout in north London was faced with mountainous problems: no European football; no belief; no Harry Kane.

    However, despite some stumbles along the way, Tottenham are heading into the business end of the campaign in a great position, fifth in the Premier League and nearing a fully fit and available squad.

    This has scarcely been the case throughout the maiden months of the Australian’s tenure, a blistering start to life severely affected by a damaging 4-1 home defeat against Chelsea, resulting in dismissals to Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie and injuries to influential signings James Maddison and Micky van de Ven.

    A tough period had been presaged, and indeed table-topping Spurs fell by the wayside – four defeats and a draw from five league matches – still fighting now to cement a spot in top four.

    Losing the key components of his rearguard was particularly damaging for Postecoglou, and with a threadbare backline, 18-year-old centre-back Alfie Dorrington stepped up to the first-team.

    Alfie Dorrington’s season in numbers

    It was the start of October and Postecoglou had stated that Dorrington and dynamic attacker Jamie Donley had “stood out” for the U21s and thus had been promoted to first-team training.

    The latter has now made four appearances for the Lilywhites across recent weeks and while Dorrington has yet to make his senior debut, those aforementioned blows to Van de Ven and Romero had placed him in regular matchday contention.

    Indeed, the teenager has been an unused substitute in the Premier League on ten occasions this term, capturing Postecoglou’s attention after his stellar showings in the Premier League 2.

    At youth level, Dorrington has played 11 times in the league this season as Wayne Burnett’s development squad go from strength to strength, also making three appearances in the EFL Trophy, starring in a stunning 5-0 victoy over Colchester United.

    Over his three outings in the EFL Trophy, the Enfield-born defender has completed 85% of his passes, averaged 5.3 ball recoveries and 4.7 clearances per game and succeeded with an incredible 83% of his ground duels, as per Sofascore.

    Lauded for his “terrific” ability by’s Alasdair Gold, the signs certainly point toward stardom, with Dorrington boasting all the traits to succeed at the apex of English football.

    Alfie Dorrington’s style of play

    A ball-playing centre-back with a boldness in his progression, Dorrington is a defender and will likely remain in the defensive third, so impressive in his ball retention and dispossessing ability, but he has a elegance in possession that could quite easily set him up for success in the centre of the park.

    According to club insider Superhotspur, Dorrington is dynamic and has been said to have a ‘commanding style of defending as well as his positivity on the ball, and ability to go on long and skilful surging forward runs out of defence.’

    With such glowing natural qualities, Dorrington might even bloom into the finest player from the productive Spurs academy, Superhotspur remarking that: ‘Alfie is in my opinion one of the very best footballing centre-halves that I have ever seen in the Spurs Academy set-up.’

    There sure is competition for that particular crown, with 18-year-old midfielder Lucas Bergvall signed for €10m (£8m) plus add-ons from Swedish side Djurgårdens IF on deadline day, hijacking Barcelona’s approach for the ace.

    Bergvall has been hailed for his “generational” quality by one scout and has earned comparisons to Real Madrid phenomenon Jude Bellingham for his high-class multi-functionality in midfield.

    Still, he’s not the only prodigy in Tottenham’s formative fold – actually joining officially in the summer – and Dorrington’s success in wedging into the first-team already speaks of his talent and the trust held in his skill set by Postecoglou.

    Perfect for Postecoglou

    Back when Postecoglou managed Celtic, he touched upon the importance of entrusting youth with chances to make their mark, saying: “I think it’s important having players who were brought up with this club. I mean, you just have to look at our captain. It’s not just for Callum McGregor it’s for our supporters to know that one of their own has gone from the terraces to on the pitch.”

    This was reflected during his time at Celtic Park and has been discernible throughout the early phase of his Tottenham career, and while moves have been made to shore up the defence in January, Radu Dragusin signing from Genoa for around £27m, Eric Dier left for Bayern Munich and so there are still not options aplenty.


    Dorrington making his debut before the summer is certainly a possibility, albeit hampered by the club’s sole focus in the Premier League, and given that natural ball-playing ability and ‘commanding’ presence in defence, he could even be Romero’s understudy.

    Dragusin has an aggressive disposition that makes him a menace on the pitch but he is not a pass-proficient centre-half – he’s competent, sure, but that is not where is finest attributes lie.

    The same does not apply to Romero, who has been described as a “Rolls-Royce” of a player by pundit Martin Keown and has established himself as one of the Premier League’s standout defenders since signing from Serie A club Atalanta for £42m back in 2021.

    Cristian Romero: Similar PL Players





    Pau Torres

    Aston Villa


    Ezri Konsa

    Aston Villa


    Gabriel Magalhaes



    Virgil van Dijk



    Manuel Akanji

    Manchester City

    Source: Football Transfers

    Moreover, he ranks among the top 11% of central defenders across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for shot-creating actions, the top 15% for pass completion, the top 14% for progressive passes and the top 5% for tackles per 90, as per FBref.

    For these reasons, Dorrington has the perfect mentor as he strives to take the next step in his development over these upcoming months, with Romero able to show him the many facets of the defensive trade.

    Whether Postecoglou hands the teenage titan a starting berth this term remains to be seen; the gruelling nature of the fight for Champions League qualification in the Premier League could inhibit his chances.

    Nonetheless, Dorrington is creeping ever closer to a prominent role at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and in a matter of years he could be the biggest talent at the club, surpassing even the likes of Donley and new recruit Bergvall.

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