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Malachi Fagan-Walcott: How Dundee did their homework to land Spurs kid handed Champions League bow by Jose Mourinho

Malachi Fagan-Walcott in action for Spurs Under-19s.
Malachi Fagan-Walcott in action for Spurs Under-19s.

Malachi Fagan-Walcott has rubbed shoulders on a daily basis at training with the likes of Harry Kane and made his Tottenham Hotspur debut in the Champions League against RB Leipzig last season.

Despite that, Dundee boss James McPake was determined to leave no stone unturned, finding out as much as he could about the highly-rated Spurs teenager before snapping him up on loan.

The Dens manager consulted pals Andy O’Boyle, who’s  head of elite performance at the Premier League, as well as England Under-20s coach Lee Carsley.

Both came back with glowing reports on Fagan-Walcott, with McPake then making a successful approach to Tottenham to take the 18-year-old to Dens until the end of the season.

Dundee boss James McPake.
Dundee boss James McPake.

The manager, who handed Fagan-Walcott his Dundee debut against Raith on Saturday, said: “Andy O’Boyle, who has been helping me for some time, watches a lot of Under-23 and Under-18 games in England.

“He mentioned Malachi to me a while ago. It was one we had a wee look at and then when Jose Mourinho got the Spurs job, Malachi was brought into the first-team fold there.

“He made his debut in the Champions League, albeit for 10 minutes, but he was in and around the Spurs first team until he got an injury.

“I also spoke about him with Lee Carsley who I know from Coventry.

“Lee is the England Under-20s coach and he did a bit of digging for me. We obviously did our own due diligence on Malachi.

Fagan-Walcott (right) grapples with Raith Rovers man Timmy Abraham, brother of Chelsea star Tammy.

“We spoke to other people around the England youth set-up, who are now managers in their own right, who had the player when he was younger.

“The reports that came back were great.”

McPake’s efforts paid off with Tottenham agreeing to send Fagan-Walcott up to Dundee.

Now the Dark Blues manager is hoping the youngster can become an even better player during his time at Dens.

Homework paid off for McPake

McPake added: “I spoke to the academy manager at Spurs just to say: ‘Look, is there a chance that he could go out on loan to further his development?’

“Let’s be honest – as much as he made his first team debut for Spurs, they have a fantastic pool of experienced players and they are on a completely different planet to us.

“I think because we had been monitoring Malachi and they were impressed by the fact that we could go to them and know so much about the boy, then they were happy to loan him to us.

“He has come up here to improve. He is only young but he has a lot of good attributes.

“You don’t get to train with the Spurs first team and the likes of Harry Kane day-in, day-out if you don’t have something about you.

“So Malachi will definitely add to our squad.”

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