Dane Scarlett has explained that the Tottenham Hotspur first team stars “put their arms around” him as he stepped up to work with them.
The 17-year-old has had a whirlwind year at the club, bouncing back from a season-ending knee injury in November 2019 to hit the ground running for the next campaign.
In his first season as a full-time U18s player, Scarlett struck 17 goals in 16 appearances and another five goals in the FA Youth Cup – all in one game against Newport County. He also stepped up to play five times for the U23s, scoring three goals.
As reward for his efforts, he was given opportunities to train with the first team squad and at just 16 Jose Mourinho handed him not only two appearances in the Europa League but also his Premier League debut.
In his second European match, Scarlett became the youngest player to provide an assist since Kylian Mbappe did so at the same age for Monaco against Tottenham.
Scarlett, who signed his first professional contract with the club after turning 17, also received a commemorative cased match ball from the Premier League to mark his debut in the competition.
“My Premier League debut is something that will stick with me because it was a big moment, not just for me but for my family as well. I’ve just got to keep kicking on and hopefully make some more appearances now,” he told the club’s website.
“It’s clearly been my best season for a while, if not my whole life. In general, it was just a big confidence boost.”
Mourinho called Scarlett a ‘diamond’ and one of the most young talented players he had worked with. Before his departure from Spurs, the Portuguese had said that the striker would move up to train permanently with his first team squad next season.
The teenager admitted that he was taken in well by the club stars after moving up to work with them during this campaign.
“I believe that if you work hard, you will get your rewards,” said Scarlett. “We have some brilliant players in the first team, so I continue to look up to them and trust that hopefully my time will come.
“You obviously have to earn the trust and respect of the players and staff when you go up to train at that level but the group has been really good with me – the senior players have put their arms around me and helped me a lot.
“I’m feeling good and I’m ready for my next challenges next season. Obviously there is a little break now for the summer but then I’ll be straight back at it. Pre-season is an important time so I’ll stay focused, try to do the right things and look forward to trying to achieve more next season.”