Tottenham youngster Alfie Devine says England’s run to the final of the Under-19 Euros constitutes "the best pre-season" he could have.
England came from behind to beat Italy 2-1 in Slovakia and book a Friday showdown against Israel, with Devine following up a goal-scoring performance against Austria with another impressive display in a fluid front three.
The 17-year-old’s current Spurs contract runs until 2024 but The Athletic reported last week that Tottenham already hope to start discussions over a new deal, with head coach Antonio Conte impressed by his development and some of Europe’s top clubs alerted to his progress.
It is understood Spurs will give careful consideration to a loan destination, hoping to recreate the recent respective successes of Oliver Skipp at Norwich and Troy Parrott at MK Dons.
But Devine — who became Spurs’ youngest player and goalscorer during an FA Cup tie against Marine in January 2021 — believes summer success on the international stage will only bring further benefit, wherever he is playing his football in 2022-23.
“This is massive,” he said. “These sort of tournaments, no matter whether you're going to your club, what the situation is there, does you the world of good.
“All the attention back home, people here as well, does you the world of good.
“I’d normally be working back in for pre-season now. I am privileged to be here and going to a final. This is like the best pre-season you could ever get.
“I think the system, the 3-4-3, is one we work at Tottenham as well. I like playing in the system and it works well for the players we have. (The manager) has the belief in us and we know the whole group, staff, players are one big team and that really helps in these competitions.”
Ian Foster’s young England side have already beaten Israel once in the tournament, winning 1-0 in their final group game on Saturday.
Devine says his team-mates are desperate to complete the job — and have taken inspiration from Gareth Southgate’s seniors.
“Last year’s seniors group, their togetherness in the camp; we saw a video of them, we want to start to replicate that. We know how much togetherness can get you far. We have a great group of players and staff here, altogether.
“To win on Friday would mean everything. I mean everything. As a team we have the belief we can go on and win it.”