Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed a strong start to the 2022/23 Premier League campaign under Antonio Conte as they currently sit third in the table.
They are one of two unbeaten sides in the division – alongside Manchester City – and have won four of their six matches in the top flight so far.
One of the team’s most consistent players is central defender Eric Dier, who has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.07 in the league this season – the sixth-best score in the squad.
This comes after he averaged a score of 7.01 in the Premier League in 2021/22 as he started 35 of the club’s 38 matches, helping the side to keep 16 clean sheets as he made 4.0 clearances per outing.
At the age of 28, he still has plenty more to give to the club but Conte could already have his eventual heir in the current academy set-up.
19-year-old centre-back Maksim Paskotsi could be a future star for Spurs and is a player who could take over from Dier in a few years, as the Englishman enters his thirties.
Is Paskotsi a future star for Spurs?
The Estonian youngster joined the club in 2020 and has racked up 30 appearances for the academy teams, scoring five goals in that time.
He has already made a first-team appearance after making his debut in a Europa Conference League qualifier in August 2021 and this shows that the club have identified him as a prospect, by exposing him to senior football at such a young age.
Football talent scout Jacek Kulig previously dubbed him a “superb” centre-back and claimed that he is a similar type of player to Manchester United’s Raphael Varane. In his report on the youngster, Kulig listed his biggest strengths as his pace, ability in the air, and his anticipation, whilst describing him as ‘elegant’.
Paskotsi is an experienced player at international level given his young age. He has been capped an eye-catching 16 times by Estonia before his 20th birthday, having made his bow in March 2021 at the age of 18.
In two Nations League outings earlier this year, he averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.10 as he won 67% of his aerial battles and made 3.0 clearances per game for his country. The enforcer also made 5.4 clearances per match across seven appearances in World Cup qualifiers in 2022, showing off his strong positioning at the back.
Estonia clearly believe that he is ready to play regular senior football at age and his performances at international level have justified that decision.
Therefore, he could have the potential to play in the first team for Spurs in the future. He must now continue his development and get to a point where he is capable of playing week-in-week-out in the Premier League in order to fulfil his promise.
It may take him a few more years of gaining experience and honing his skills, whilst playing for his country and potentially going out on loan, but he could be the eventual heir to Dier if he is able to make the step up under Conte.