Who is Tottenham target Samuel Iling-Junior? The English youngster making his way at Juventus

James Pennington
Samuel Iling-Junior, Juventus

Samuel Iling-Junior on the bench for Juventus' match with Torino.

Samuel Iling-Junior is an English winger currently contracted to Italian giants Juventus, with a lack of game time in Turin meaning a move to the Premier League is now heavily touted.

TEAMtalk’s Dean Jones revealed on Wednesday that both Fulham and Everton have joined Tottenham and Aston Villa in the race to sign the out-of-favour winger.

The 20-year-old has struggled to work his way into the starting fold this season under Massimiliano Allegri, with Juventus preferring to set up in a 3-5-2 shape, making it difficult for Iling-Junior to find a place in the side.

The Old Lady have been in good form this campaign and currently sit second in Serie A after failing to finish in the top three since their last title-winning campaign in 2019-20, finishing as low as seventh last season after a point deduction hindered their progress.

Out of contract in 2025, the winger has only amassed 113 minutes across four appearances so far this campaign and a move in January is likely.

Iling-Junior’s career so far

Iling-Junior rejected an athletic scholarship at Chelsea, where he had spent nine years in the famous youth setup in west London, before making the move to Italy in 2020 after interest from Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund was waved away.

The winger would spend his first two years in Italy in the youth sides, making 28 appearances and registering four goals and seven assists in his maiden campaign for the U19s.

The 2021/22 season would see an increase in playing time and output for Iling-Junior where he registered 11 goals and 10 assists in 40 appearances across all competitions for Juventus’ youth sides.

He would make his Serie A debut in October 2022, replacing Filip Kostic as an 84th-minute substitute in a 4-0 home victory.

In May 2023 he would make his full debut for Juventus’ first team away at Atalanta, where he would score the opener in a 2-0 victory.

Of DR Congolese descent, Iling-Junior has represented England at almost every single youth level and was a part of the squad that won the 2022 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.

What is Iling-Junior like as a player?

Capable of using either foot, Iling-Junior plays his football predominantly on the left side of the pitch as either a left-winger, left-midfielder or even as a left wing-back.

His flexibility enables him to cut inside on his right or whip crosses in early with his left, making him fairly unpredictable and therefore tough to deal with.

The Englishman plays his best football when on the ball, with his willingness to run at the opposition meaning their shape gets disrupted and his team gets the advantage.

Standing at 1.82m (6ft), Iling-Junior’s physique allows him to go toe-to-toe with any opposition, with his outstanding pace and strength meaning he is a match for anyone.

Despite his height he is very agile, which enables him to get out of tight situations with success. While wingers at many top clubs want to invert, Iling-Junior often prefers to get to the byline and cross.

His athletic ability twinned with Juventus’s defensive resilience also makes him a great presser, which is becoming increasingly important in the modern game.

Where will Iling-Junior go?

According to Transfermarkt, the winger’s market value is currently around €9m (£7.9m) and with Tottenham, Aston Villa, Fulham and Everton all linked with the 20-year-old he won’t be short of options.

Playing in only 10 per cent of the available minutes this campaign without starting a match, Iling-Junior may be eager to jumpstart his career elsewhere if the Italian outfit are unable to give him regular minutes.

Fellow 20-year-olds Jude Bellingham, Pedri and Jamal Musiala, who also came through the Chelsea youth system at the same time, have all experienced much more success despite being the same age, which will frustrate the Englishman.

Tottenham have been the team most heavily linked with Iling-Junior as Ange Postecoglou is looking to shape his side for the foreseeable future after a bright start to life in north London.

Spurs have good depth in those attacking areas with Manor Solomon, Richarlison, Bryan Gil, Brennan Johnson and Heung-Min Son all capable of playing off of the left, so it would be difficult to see Iling-Junior breaking through unless there were some departures.

Aston Villa have been exceptional under Unai Emery and may be looking to add depth on the left side of their midfield four and could be a good replacement for the on-loan Nicolo Zaniolo should Villa not purchase the Italian permanently.

Fulham have the oldest squad on average in the Premier League this season, with 35-year-old Willian often occupying the left side of the attack, so may be looking to trim the average age with the acquisition of Iling-Junior.

The Cottagers also hold the advantage of being a based in London, where the winger was born in October 2003.

Everton would be an interesting proposition for Iling-Junior as Sean Dyche looks to cement his philosophy upon the Toffees.

The Merseyside outfit is often set up in a 4-4-2 and Dwight McNeil is the main option off the left side in the position Iling-Junior would compete for.

The 20-year-old would be seen as healthy competition for McNeil where they don’t have another like-for-like option.