Marcus Edwards, the Tottenham youngster once compared to Lionel Messi by Mauricio Pochettino, has had his loan spell at Norwich cut short.
The highly-rated 19-year-old has played just six minutes of football for the Championship club, and has now returned to Spurs rather than stay at Carrow Road until the end of the season as initially planned.
Reports suggest a number of issues with Edwards’ attitude and time-keeping have marred his time at Norwich, with both clubs confirming he is now back at Spurs for “personal reasons”. Spurs have waived all further fees owed to them by Norwich in connection with the deal.
It was in 2016, when Edwards was just 17, that Pochettino made what already looks an ill-fated comparison.
“His qualities?” Pochettino said ahead of handing Edwards a senior debut in an EFL Cup clash with Gillingham. “It’s only looks, his body and the way that he plays, remind a little bit from the beginning of Messi. He’s small, he’s left-footed.”
Edwards is yet to add to that solitary first-team appearance for Tottenham, with Pochettino admitting in his recent book that his Messi comparison – however caveated – might have been an error.
“Sometimes I wonder whether it was wise to liken him (Edwards) to Messi,” Pochettino wrote. “He was only 17. At that age, Messi was making his debut for a Barcelona side featuring Ronaldinho.
“They’re from different families, backgrounds and cultures. One of them thinks like an Argentinian and the other like an Englishman. Marcus is still in the process of adapting to the rigours or being a professional, which require you to act and think differently, be disciplined and make sacrifices.”