Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Position: Central Midfield
Date of Birth: January 15th 1992
Place of Birth: London, England
Previous Club(s): Crystal Palace
Bostock’s story is a controversial one, and a well-known one. A season ticket holder at his local team, Crystal Palace, since the age of eight, he was also scouted by the same club and progressed rapidly through their academy, with a world-class potential attracting the attentions of scouts from big clubs not only in England, but across Europe. He made his professional debut whilst still at school aged 15 years and 295 days, and in his brief minutes on the park was the best player, displaying fabulous touch and skill belying his years.
Unfortunately for Palace, when the big clubs came sniffing, Bostock’s previously professed loyalty was severely tested. They were able to ward off interest from Chelsea for some time, but ultimately lost their prized asset to Tottenham, who signed Bostock to a five-year deal. Palace, who were unable to agree a deal with Bostock (who signed regardless because he was below professional contract age), took Tottenham to a tribunal, where they received £700,000 up front with a further £1.5m based on the player’s progress. Incensed at the ‘pittance’ received, Simon Jordan, the Crystal Palace Chairman, declared his intention to sell the club, feeling let down by the footballing authorities.
Regardless, Bostock joined his new team-mates at Tottenham, a club receiving a prodigious talent. He has the ability and strength to boss the midfield, with exceptionally gifted touch and passing. He likes to get forward and add his name to the scoresheet, whilst having the capacity to play in a box-to-box role. Tottenham have showed a desire in recent years to develop the best of British, and despite a mixed success rate, he’s at least at a club who will attempt to give him the very best chance to turn into the world class midfielder Palace believe they have lost.
After the controversy of his transfer died down, Bostock got to work establishing himself in Tottenham’s academy team. A regular in Alex Inglethorpe’s team, he provided a decent return on the scoresheet, and progressed into Clive Allen’s reserves. Midway through the season he made his first-team debut (having featured in their pre-season friendlies) in the UEFA Cup against Dinamo Zagreb and continued to make appearances in the European competition, in both legs against Shakhtar Donetsk, who eventually eliminated them. In breaking into the first team regularly before turning 17 Bostock put his name in the Tottenham record books, and they surely won’t be his only entries in the long term.