“I couldn’t be at the game but I watched on video our youth team playing in the [UEFA Youth League], and we also have [Dennis Cirkin].
OK, he’s 17, but he’s a kid with a lot of quality, and I look forward to bringing him to train with us, and to help his development.
Jose Mourinho’s statements were surprising at the time - he gave a lot of praise to a young player who was way down the pecking order in the Tottenham Hotspur squad.
Today, everyone remembers the words of the Portuguese manager, and agrees with him.
The way that Dennis Cirkin plays is found more in South America than in Europe.
He has that style.
His game is very similar to that of Juan Pablo Sorin, but above all that, of Julio Arca.
He’s multi-talented, adaptable, and good at pretty much everything that you expect from a modern top full-back - he’s good going forward, good defensively, and even shows he’s capable of getting shots away, often shooting from long range - he’s totally unpredictable.
He started slowly but is improving with each passing game, and his defending has been better. You can see that he’s making strides forward and showing why he came so highly rated by ‘the special one’.
Does Dennis have a ceiling, when it comes to how well he can perform? I don’t believe so, and it’s that South American style that we talked about before that will lead him to eventually play for England one day.
Eventually - hopefully in the distant future - I believe that he’ll play for a top six side in the Premier League, or for another big club abroad... he’s that good.
These predictions that we make are made with good reason: in the world today, there are not too many players in that position who are well-rounded - if he fulfills the potential that he has, it’s undoubted that we’ll be watching him play at the very highest level.
This isn’t just a problem for England, but for nations all over the globe - so when you find a left back that is as talented as Cirkin, they become hot property.
In South America, where I am from, left-back is a highly sought-after position, since the clubs lower down the pyramid don’t have a particularly good record of producing top-quality defensive players.
When children start to play football, where do they, more often than not, want to play? They want to be a centre forward, or the one with the number 10 on their shirts.
Very few, I’d imagine, want to be a left-back.
For me at least, that’s a big reason why when players like Cirkin appear, they dazzle me so much. Not only for his quality, but because they’re a rare commodity.
The next Julio Arca? Maybe!