Stoke City fans had just a 45-minute introduction to latest signing Tashan Oakley-Boothe before football – and most of the world – shut down for business.
And the last 10 minutes were pretty exciting as he pushed forward with cool head and skill to help seal a 5-1 whipping of Hull.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who’s played for England at various age levels, has signed a three-and-a-half year contract to make his way in the senior game after coming through the ranks at Tottenham.
So we caught up with Alasdair Gold, the Spurs correspondent for Football.London for some valuable insight…
How surprised were you that Spurs let Oakley-Boothe leave?
Alasdair: Not so much nowadays.
Oakley-Boothe burst on to the scene a couple of years ago, enjoying a breakthrough pre-season with the first team on a tour to the USA and then he came back and was rewarded with his debut in the League Cup, the first player born in this century to appear for Spurs.
After that he went away and won the under-17 World Cup with England but picked up an injury soon after which affected his progress. He never really found his rhythm again after that, his progress seemed to stagnate and he didn’t really threatened to get near the first team again.
He wasn’t helped by the amount of bodies Spurs have in midfield and keep signing in the position as well as Oliver Skipp leapfrogging him from within the academy to become a regular part of the first team set-up.
What kind of player would you describe him as?
Alasdair: He’s quite a versatile midfielder, able to either operate in a deeper role in the centre of the park or in a more advanced role on the pitch as part of a three behind the striker.
He’s more likely to be involved earlier in moves than be the one who does the damage in the final third.
He’s got good technique, an eye for a pass and has the engine to be a box-to-box midfielder when required. He’s still very much a player in development so the months ahead will be important for him in terms of defining his position going forward.
Does he have the potential to play in the Premier League one day?
Alasdair: Much will depend on the next year or so of his career.
He’s got plenty of potential but he hasn’t had much experience of competitive men’s football, other than that League Cup appearance and the Leasing.com Trophy matches after Spurs entered an under-21 team during recent campaigns.
He’s certainly got the attributes to go all the way and he really caught the eye of Pochettino when he was 17. Now it’s about how he develops inside a new club after so many years at Tottenham and whether it reignites his progress.
He’s just turned 20 so will be expecting to push on.
And even play for the full senior England side after representing them at various age levels?
Alasdair: He’s played at plenty of levels for England so he’s well known with the national set-up. Whether he progresses any further depends on Stoke, the opportunities he gets there, and of course on whether he can build on the early promise he showed at Spurs.