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Tottenham wonderkid has pre-season tour plan to impress Ange Postecoglou amid Harry Kane claim

Will Lankshear celebrates his first goal for Tottenham in the 3-0 win against Sunderland in the Premier League 2 Play-Off Final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
-Credit: (Image: Tottenham Hotspur)


Will Lankshear has been getting a lot of Tottenham fans excited with his 32 goals this season and now he knows the hard work really begins to catch Ange Postecoglou's eye this summer.

The young Spurs striker, who turned 19 last month, is a big unit and a fearsome finisher. Just when you think he is going quiet in a game, suddenly he will find that pocket of space to strike. Watch him in action and you will see traces of how some of the Premier League's finest in recent years have moved and hit the ball.

It's no surprise then that Lankshear told football.london that he studies and admires Harry Kane and Erling Haaland and their influences are clear in his play.

"Harry Kane is unbelievable, Haaland as well. I really admire them two. They're similar to me in ways, but obviously if I could have a quarter of their career I'd be very happy!" said the teenager.

Lankshear has bounced back from a knee operation last season, having arrived in a reported £2million deal from Sheffield United the previous summer, to complete a remarkable U21s campaign this time around. His two goals in Sunday's Premier League 2 Play-off Final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium made it 32 goals plundered this season and he also netted three goals in his first three England U19 appearances.

After the 3-1 win against Sunderland at the weekend, Lankshear was handed the Premier League 2 Player of the Season award, the first Tottenham player to claim it. Lankshear's feats and the achievements of Wayne Burnett's U21s team are all the more remarkable when you look back 12 months when they were set to be relegated only for a league format change to save them and Tottenham would kick on and finish top of the new, bigger table and battle through the play-offs to win the second stage trophy as well to be crowned the best U21s side in the land.

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"I think there's been a mentality switch. From the very first day this year we've been on it and that's down to the staff," said Lankshear. "They've really nailed that in to us. We've not been complacent and we've really enjoyed playing with each other. It's been such a good group this year and I think that shows on the pitch. It's been an amazing year for everyone.

"The boys have worked so hard during this year and it felt just like the result of that. We're absolutely delighted in that dressing room."

Lankshear smiles as he hears the music and celebrating from that dressing room behind him within the stadium. He deserves to enjoy the fruits of a season in which he has worked hard on the training pitches at Hotspur Way to become a lethal assassin in the games.

"I've just tried to enjoy my football. I love scoring goals. I work really hard in training and we do lots of finishing. The staff put on lots of finishing sessions. I just try to work on that and get myself into the box because that's the main thing," he said. "The ball is going to come because of the players we've got and the quality we have in this team. The ball is always going to be there for me. I just need to do my job which is to put the ball in the back of the net."

One key man among those putting the ball on a plate for Lankshear this season has been Jamie Donley. The 19-year-old has also been sensational this season for the U21s, with his creativity and assists galore, and has earned himself three Premier League appearances under Postecoglou and one cameo in the FA Cup. Lankshear feels indebted to Donley for his own form across this campaign.

"I've just tried to build a relationship and I think Jamie and I have. I love playing with him and he's so clever. I think he's an unbelievable footballer and he makes my life so easy at the top there," he said. "He played a massive part in me being player of the season. I wouldn't have been able to do that without him and of course the team."

So what's next for a player who is getting plenty of Spurs fans excited, not least after losing their own former academy star and club record goalscorer Kane? With 32 goals to his name this season, it's natural that some supporters are urging Postecoglou to hand the England U19 international a chance to show what he could do with the first team.

The Australian took a group of youngsters from the U21s to play in Tottenham's post-season friendly against Newcastle in Melbourne, but Lankshear was not one of them. The forward watched his team-mates proudly and is not getting carried away with the excitement among the fans. He is as calm and collected off the pitch as he is on it and the only thing his mind is set on is putting that ball in the net.

"I'm going to keep working hard. I'll work in the off-season. I can only work on what I can control really. That's just working hard and not losing focus. If it's for the U21s or the first team when I come back, I'll give it my all and I'll try to score as many goals as I can for whichever team I play for," he said.

"I've had a few sessions over there [with the first team]. It's amazing. The more you're over there, the more you're going to improve. I've really enjoyed it when I've had the chance to go over there. I've just got to try to push on now. The coaches put on a session and you've just got to do it to the best of your ability. You've got to be at the level. I'll try to get to that spot.

"I just work hard. I like to give 100% and I won't stop running and getting into the box, trying to score. I love scoring goals. That's one of my massive passions. I do everything I can to do that and help the team."

There is a window of opportunity for Lankshear if he continues to work hard while others might rest during the off-season because with players at the Euros and Copa America, Postecoglou is likely to have space for a number of youngsters in his pre-season tour squad to travel to Japan and South Korea in July. There are also first team games at QPR and up in Scotland before that tour to Asia as part of a busy pre-season schedule.

Lankshear admitted he'll be looking to do everything he can to get Postecoglou to consider him for a ticket on that plane.

"100%. If I get the opportunity to catch Ange Postecoglou's eye I'll do the best I can. I'm looking to do that," he admitted.

The teenager is a battler. That and goalscoring is what he knows. It is only as the interview with football.london is coming to a close that Lankshear admits that he managed to score twice against Sunderland despite the fact that his left shoulder was left useless after an early heavy collision during the match.

"I've picked up a few impact injuries over the year. In the first 15 minutes I took a bit of whack. I think my shoulder might have come...well I'm not too sure, but something happened to my left shoulder and I couldn't really use it for the whole game," he said. "I still scored two goals and I got a bit of a whack in the face but it's part and parcel of being a striker. It's nothing I haven't seen before.

"I've managed to get through this season and I think at the start of the year, that's all I wanted really, an injury-free year. I never would have thought this would all be happening. It's really amazing for me."

More and more people are noticing Will Lankshear and he's rising to the challenge every time despite the increasing focus on him. Now the most important person he needs to catch the eye of is Ange Postecoglou and if this season is anything to go by, the teenage hitman always gets what he seeks.

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