Mauricio Pochettino has praised the potential of Tottenham starlet Marcus Edwards - and does not believe the youngster gets enough credit because he is English.
The Argentine raised eyebrows when he compared Edwards to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi ahead of the 17-year-old's first team debut in the EFL Cup match against Gillingham last month.
However, Pochettino was effusive in his praise for Edwards once more in his pre-match press conference ahead of his side's cup clash with Liverpool and, in quotes published by the Daily Mirror, stated that the winger would be viewed in a better light if he was plying his trade in South America or on the continent.
He said: "It is cultural. Maybe if Marcus Edwards were born in Brazil or Argentina, today he would be one of the most interesting prospects in football in the world. Maybe all the big teams would be fighting to buy him.
"But he is at Tottenham, he is in England and, at 17, he is still a kid. We cannot appreciate he is a man, nearly a man, and he deserves to play."
Edwards made his senior bow for Spurs in the 5-0 demolition of Gillingham at White Hart Lane on September 21, and was lauded for parts of his display by Tottenham fans who witnessed his performance.
You thought British kids were overrated? Well Poch has compared Marcus Edwards to Messi and now he's said he's underrated cos he's English— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) October 25, 2016
And Pochettino insisted that young stars such as Edwards deserved their chance at trying to make it as a Premier League standard player - before going on to take a swipe at football clubs for wanting to buy the finished article ahead of producing their own stars from youth academies.
He added:"That is the cultural difference. The Premier League is one of the stronger financial leagues, and Tottenham -- like Liverpool and all the clubs -- prefer to buy experience and quality, bring a player who is 24, 23 or 26 that performs quickly, rather than give time to the younger players and wait to build a prospect like Marcus Edwards.
"That is the balance. Tottenham is in a different project. Of course, we bring in players but we try to give the opportunity to the younger players who have potential one day to be in the first team.
"It is for the clubs to sell the players as they need the money to survive. In Argentina if you are 19 or 20 and you haven't made your debut people think you are not a good player.
"It is a completely different vision of football."
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