January 20, 2021

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Jose Mourinho explains why he’s demoted Tottenham record breaker Alfie Devine

3 min read

Alfie Devine marked his Tottenham debut with a goal in the FA Cup win over Marine (Picture: Getty)

Jose Mourinho joked he didn’t want to see Tottenham record breaker Alfie Devine ‘for one or two weeks’ after he confirmed the teenager had been sent back to train with the club’s academy following Sunday’s FA Cup heroics.

The highly-rated midfielder, who joined Spurs from Wigan in the summer, became the club’s youngest ever player and goalscorer in a 5-0 win over Marine, entering the record books at 16 years and 163 days.

Mourinho’s side face Fulham in the Premier League tomorrow night looking to re-establish their title credentials, but even in light of the mounting fixture congestion, the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss won’t be relying on the talent of Devine.

Explaining his decision to send Devine back to the youth ranks, Mourinho said: ‘I don’t know (whether he’s been smiling) because I sent him back to the academy.

‘When you reach that high moment now is time to go back to where he belongs and it is time to calm down because as you were saying, there were lots of lights on him.

Tottenham midfielder Oliver Skipp has impressed on loan at Norwich this season (Picture: Getty)

‘Now it is his moment to calm down and go back to academy and I don’t want to see him for one or two weeks, let him be there.’

Devine owed Sunday’s opportunity, in part, to the decision to send fellow youngster Oli Skipp out on loan at the start of the season. The England Under-21 international has since played a key role in Norwich’s push for an instant return to the Premier League.

Mourinho insists he has given consideration to recalling the player but will resist that temptation in the belief that his long-term future will be better served by spending a full year in the Championship.

He said: ‘In a selfish perspective it would be good to bring him back now, but we’re not selfish. The players are very important. The future is very important the best thing for him is to finish the season there.

‘It’s been a very successful loan for us and also for Norwich. We’re very happy that he’s playing and he’s playing well. He’s playing to win and to win titles so he has that pressure on him too.

‘He’s playing two or three matches a week so there’s also a physical development. Next season he’s back, but we believe that for this season we think it’s best for him to stay at Norwich and he’s also very happy with that.’

MORE : Jose Mourinho hits back at Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil over ‘retirement’ jibe at Tottenham

MORE : Jose Mourinho praises Dele Alli’s performance against Marine amid Tottenham exit rumours

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