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Crawley Town v Tottenham Hotspur U23: Pre-Season Friendly

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Spurs teenager Dennis Cirkin reported to be close to signing for Sunderland - is he any good?

Reports suggest that Sunderland are in advanced talks with Tottenham Hotspur to sign England youth international Dennis Cirkin. It’s not a done deal, but is he any good? We asked Spurs fanzine Lilywhite Rose all about him…

Dennis Cirkin of Tottenham Hotspur U23 on the ball during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Crawley Town and Tottenham Hotspur U23 
| Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

RR: How did you feel when you saw the reported deal between Spurs and Sunderland for Dennis Cirkin broke? It seems to really have took your fanbase by surprise!

Lilywhite Rose: Absolutely gutted. Dennis is a player who first caught our eye during an academy showcase game at Portman Road as a spurs u15/16s’s team took on Ipswich. Dennis was awarded Man of the Match as a marauding left sided player.

Since joining the academy full time Denis’s progress has been rapid, quickly cementing the left back slot in spurs U18s and for England at youth level.

Despite his England youth call ups Dennis is actually born in Dublin and also has eligibility through his parents to play for Latvia.

Although the move has come as a surprise for many, his admission from the first team pre-season toppled with a telling Instagram post from his barber saying ‘new beginnings’ did lead me to have some suspicions.

RR: Dennis Cirkin has come through your academy, can you tell us a little more about the 19 year old and how he’s developed?

Lilywhite Rose: The development of Dennis has been rapid. As a first year scholar he was straight into the deep end, playing youth Champions League football. It was at the game against Barcelona at their Mini Estadi stadium he really shone, pocketing Ansu Fati and Ilax Moriba.

RR: Jose Mourinho was reportedly a big fan of Cirkin, but he’s not featured in Nuno’s pre-season plans - is there any reason for this?

Lilywhite Rose: He had a small injury which he has now fully recovered from. Jose Mourinho was a huge fan of Dennis instantly, taking a liking to him having caught the eye in a Youth Champions League game.

England Under 19 Training Session
Dennis Cirkin during the England Under 19 Training session at St George’s Park on March 25, 2021
Photo by Alex Pantling - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

RR: Some of your fans seem pretty disappointed that Cirkin isn’t going to be given the chance to break through at Spurs. Has he impressed that much in his performances with the U23 squad?

Lilywhite Rose: Yes - Dennis did very well for the u18s and then the 23’s, but unfortunately last year he suddenly lost his father, and naturally needed some time away from football, both at club and international level.

RR: We’re pretty desperate for players to play at full back, and Dennis is yet to make his first-team debut at Spurs, so it could be a good deal all round. Will you be disappointed if he leaves on a permanent basis?

Lilywhite Rose: Having watched Dennis for the last four years coming through the academy, and knowing how highly he is valued by both the staff at Spurs and within the England youth set up, I will be gutted if he completes a permanent move as mooted.

I can see why from his point of view thought with Reguilon, Davies and Sessegnon ahead of him in the pecking order. Although we as Spurs fans would prefer a loan if the players desire is a permanent move then its his time to shine.

RR: How bad was the injury he picked up last season? We have a bit of a track record of signing players who are not fully fit.

Lilywhite Rose: Rather than a specific injury he had the awful family bereavement, and to lose someone so close to you can take an indefinite time to recover from.

However, he was back on the training pitches at Hotspur Way recently, and is ready to start the new season fresh, wherever that may be.

RR: Any parting thoughts?

Lilywhite Rose: Finally, you’ve had some fantastic left-backs down the years from Julio Arca, Danny Rose and Patrick Van Aanholt - I’m sure if you give Dennis the time and opportunity to grow, he can join that exclusive list. Good luck, Dennis!

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