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The 20-year-old striker Dilan Markanday made his first-team debut and became the first British-Asian – as well as the first player of Indian descent – to play for the Tottenham first team.
Few will remember Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat to Vitesse Arnhem with any fondness after the woeful display few nights ago. Yet it proved to be the stage for a moment far more important than the game itself, the debut of young Dilan Markanday.
With a bench full of academy starlets, Markanday was the only player Nuno felt as though he could trust to head onto the field of play and change the game, which is a statement in itself.
Throughout the last couple of seasons, Tottenham Hotspur has been one of the Premier League teams which has given the most opportunities to its academy players.
Whether it is going out on loan or making first team debuts, the Spurs academy keeps producing top talent and giving them chances to play first team football.
The most recent example of this was the 20 year-old striker Dilan Markanday, who made his first team debut during Tottenham's 0-1 UEFA Europa Conference League loss against Dutch side, Vitesse.
He came off the bench for the last 15 minutes of the game.
The first ever British Asian – as well as the first player of Indian descent – to play for our men’s first team in a competitive game. 💙— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 23, 2021
Congratulations on your debut, @DilanMarkanday! 👏 pic.twitter.com/1XOONB0tbi
“For me, it was an unbelievable feeling to make my debut for this great club, a moment I’ve been working towards and dreaming about since I was a young boy,” he told Spurs.com after becoming the first British-Asian ever to play for the Tottenham first team.
“For it to come true was a special feeling, one that me and my family are very proud of. I’m very grateful to the manager for putting his trust in me in that moment and also to my close family and friends who have been there in good times and bad times throughout my journey so far.”
The India native, who has been in the Spurs academy since he was 12 years-old, scored the first ever goal in the history of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in 2019 with the U18s.
While playing in Premier League 2 (U23s) this season, Markanday has scored eight league goals in eight league games, earning two nominations for Premier League 2 Player of the Month so far.
The 20 year-old was first named on the bench for Tottenham's first team in their Europa League tie against Wolfsberger AC last season. He also made a Premier League matchday squad for the first time as an unused substitute at Crystal Palace two months ago.
“I was a little bit nervous when I was told I was coming on, but those nerves turned to excitement very quickly. I just wanted to get out there and do my best for the team,” he added.
“I just want to continue working hard and keep progressing now. It’s important to work hard, believe in myself and hopefully any further opportunities will happen in their own time.”