Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga says this could just be the start for record-breaking youngster Alfie Devine after Sunday’s display.
The midfielder became the club’s youngest ever player and goalscorer in the FA Cup win over Marine. As such, he entered the record books at 16 years and 163 days.
The teenager has enjoyed a prominent rise after joining from Wigan in the summer. Indeed, he has already trained with the first team and played for the club’s under-23s.
Tanganga, meanwhile, only made his own debut last season and has backed Devine for stardom. What’s more, he revealed his conversation with the youngster before he came on on Sunday.
“He’s trained a few times with us and every time he’s come up he’s looked a real spark,” the centre-back said.
“He’s doing well. When he was coming on [with me at half-time], I just told him, ‘Keep it simple, do what you’ve been doing in training – there’s a reason why you’ve been training up’.
“You saw glimpses of his ability, a really professional performance. I’m really happy for him to get his first professional goal. He’s a really good player and there’s more to come as well.
“It’s a great achievement and it was a great goal. I’m happy for him and hopefully from here it’s a confidence boost, knowing that the manager can put him in for these games.
“He’s shown he can hustle, he’s shown what he can do, so hopefully from here he can kick on and get more appearances for the club.”
He also featured in some pre-season friendlies and has trained with the first team recently.
Mourinho backs Devine potential
Mourinho said: “He’s a kid with good potential that came to the club only this summer.
“He was lucky enough to have pre-season with us because we were short of players. So he had pre-season with us and played a few friendlies, which of course gave him close contact with the first team.
“He’s not a stranger, and then working in the academy, playing in different teams in the academy, coming to us sometimes to train, so a nice process for him.
“He’s a kid that basically is a midfield player but with an instinct to appear in finishing zones and to score goals. We like him and of course for him today is a special day.”
Dele Alli also put a solid shift in against Marine amid his struggles for game time. However, he remains the subject of links with a move away from Spurs in January, specifically to Paris Saint-Germain.