After spending the first couple of years of his senior career being loaned out to various clubs around the English leagues, Jake Livermore is steadily becoming a much more recognised and accomplished midfielder at the top level. He’s proven himself as one of the brightest talents to come through the Spurs ranks in recent years and now finds himself on the periphery of the first team. But with Tottenham now expected to challenge the league leaders and cement a place in the Champions League, is it asking too much of the English midfielder to break through next season?
Upon coming back from loan in the summer, Livermore was re-introduced to the Spurs side and proceeded to stake his claim for a more permanent place on the pitch. He scored his first senior goal in the Europa League against Hearts in August and appeared to be settling into the team well when given the opportunity. Squad rotation in cup competitions has been Livermore’s best chance to prove his capabilities, but he is slowly being broken into the bigger games, having played 90 minutes in four Premiership games this season so far.
It’s obviously going to be difficult for anyone to make a name for themselves in a central midfield which comprises of Modric and Parker, purely because these two are praised highly for the work they do. The media like attributing the majority of Tottenham’s ball-winning and determined play to Parker, which would make it that little bit more difficult to squeeze in another player in a similar holding role in big matches. However, as we saw against Bolton in the FA Cup semi, there can be room for Livermore. In this instance, he played alongside Parker with Van der Vaart, Bale and Modric all on the pitch. Not only did he do a decent job in centre-mid, he demonstrated his ability to link up with the front-man, exchanging passes with Adebayor and getting forward with intent.
He proved that in a good performance amongst established first-team regulars, he can certainly hold his own and play a big part. Conversely, even against Norwich when Spurs lost, Livermore provided the assist for Defoe’s goal with a precision pass. Back in early March, against Manchester United, although Spurs lost 3-1, the young English centre-midfielder again proved himself to be a shining star. His versatility, energy and passing accuracy was admirable against quality opposition and went a long way to putting him ahead of Sandro in the pecking order.
Looking at the likes of Huddlestone and to some extent O’Hara, if you stake a claim for your inclusion in the first team when opportunities come your way, then you can muscle in to the front of the line when the first choice players are left out. Tottenham will be involved in many competitions next season and squad rotation will be key. If Livermore can put in solid performances then Harry will get into a routine of incorporating him in a formation that works in these games. The fact that he has featured in matches throughout the season, even if only as a substitute, shows that Livermore is fresh in the manager’s mind and shouldn’t be confined to the bench in the future.
At 22 years old, he still has time to make a name for himself and even work towards a place in the England squad. Tottenham is a great club for him to be at right now as it offers experience at the highest level, as well as game-time in Europe and a role alongside some of the most talented midfielders in the Premiership. It’s a perfect setting to develop his game. But to take this a step further and break into the first team on a more permanent basis, he needs to carve out his own identity. If he can command his position on the pitch and bring his own style to the team, he may be able to hold down a regular spot. However if he falls into the bracket of generic centre-midfielder then he may have to battle with players like Sandro, Rose and Huddlestone for football next season.
Follow me on Twitter: @HazbTwit
Introducing the neat little app that’ll pay you to view content tailored to your interests:
ThisisFutbol.com are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “email@example.com” to learn more.