At the age of just 18, Tottenham Hotspur’s academy defender Maksim Paskotsi has already become a regular for his national side, Estonia.
He’s yet to break through into the first team under Nuno Santo, though he has made his senior debut this campaign after featuring regularly during pre-season, but he could be someone that saves the north Londoners a lot of money in the future.
Capable of playing in the middle, as well as on the right, Paskotski has clinched nine caps since March 2021 and this week, he impressed to help Thomas Häberli’s side to a clean sheet against Belarus before being defeated by Joe Rodon and Gareth Bale’s Wales side.
The Spurs teenager was deployed at right-back in the former clash, where he provided one key pass (only bettered by two players on the whole pitch), made four clearances and registered two tackles, as per WhoScored.
His performance caught the eye of the Lilywhites faithful, many of whom were left swooning over the emerging talent in their youth ranks.
Some called for him to be promoted into the first-team setup, whilst others claimed he was better than Matt Doherty – and even Sergio Ramos, as relayed by The Boot Room.
The latter reaction may be a little far-fetched at this stage but there’s no reason that Paskotsi shouldn’t be involved in Nuno’s senior side in some form. After all, they remain in all cup competitions and will have plenty of fixtures ahead thanks to the UEFA Conference League.
His versatility could be very useful to Nuno as he’s able to provide cover for their central defensive options, whilst being a firm choice to rival Japhet Tanganga and the rarely-used Matt Doherty behind Emerson Royal at right-back.
The young Estonian beast is shades of Jan Vertonghen in this sense and that’s the sort of player that the Portuguese is currently lacking in defence – someone capable of filling in wherever and whenever he’s needed.
He’s somewhat been a big goal threat, too, having found the net five times in 20 appearances for the U18s since arriving from FC Flora Tallinn. Again, further comparisons could be made to the Belgian utility defender.
Football talent scout Jacek Kulig once dubbed him “one of the most talented players in Estonia” and likened his playing style to Manchester United’s summer signing Raphael Varane, with the teen’s key attributes being tackling and intercepting, pace and aerial ability.
Whether he’s half the player of either, Spurs will be getting one hell of a talent, should Nuno unleash him in the senior side anytime soon.
Paskotsi could be his very own Varane.
AND in other news, Spurs could be about to repeat their Roberto Soldado nightmare…