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Tottenham youngster Alfie Devine optimistic after effective loan spells

Tottenham's teenage midfielder Alfie Devine has returned to the club this month, and reckons his loan spells this past season have helped him develop as a player.

Devine, 19, has enjoyed spells with Port Vale and Plymouth over the past 12 months before he returned to Spurs earlier in May.

It allowed Devine to star for Tottenham Under-21s in their Premier League 2 play-off semi-final win over Chelsea on Sunday before he travelled out with the first team to Melbourne for the post-season friendly with Newcastle on Wednesday, but he is relaxed about his future.

"The aim when I went out was to come back a better person and a better player," Devine told the PA news agency.

"Hopefully I have done both of them over both loans. I think I have experienced a lot, some good moments and also some bad moments, which you are going to get in football. I am glad they both went how they did.

"I don't like to come in with a plan. Come the start of the season, you come in for pre-season, go with it and try to impress as much as possible.

"If at the end of it, I stay or if I go on another loan again, either way I am sure it will be the right decision and whatever the manager wants to do as well."

Teenage prospect Devine has long been held in high regard at Tottenham, especially after making a scoring debut as a 16-year-old at Marine in the FA Cup in 2021.

Further senior minutes were harder to come by before this season, but Devine flourished upon being sent to Sky Bet League One strugglers Port Vale in August and helped them reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals before he moved up a division when he signed for Plymouth in January.

Devine was joined at Home Park by Spurs centre-back Ash Phillips and despite being sent off against Bristol City during an eventful loan spell, the midfielder started alongside Phillips in Argyle's final-day win over Hull which clinched survival.

He added: "Honestly, it is one of my best days in football. That last day had everything. The atmosphere, the game and how well we did against a very good Hull team.

"There were definitely nerves going into it, definitely, but I loved it.

"Obviously for fans when a loan player comes in, it is a bit of a weird one for them because you only have them for a season and it is down to the player to win the fans over.

"I think over my time at Plymouth I managed to do that with my performances, especially at the end and at Port Vale I did that as well. I loved every minute of being at both clubs."

This season of progress for Devine adds to the growing excitement around several talented young players at Spurs.

Ange Postecoglou gave senior debuts to academy starlets Jamie Donley and Mikey Moore over the campaign, while Alfie Dorrington, Phillips and Tyrese Hall have trained with the first-team alongside being impressive for the under-21s.

It has contributed towards an excellent season for Wayne Burnett's under-21s after they won the first phase of the Premier League 2 season, were runners-up in the League Cup and have progressed into the play-off final against Sunderland, which will be held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

"When we came back, me and Ash, the plan was to just train, but obviously when you get an opportunity to play at this stadium, you're not going to turn it down," Devine admitted.

“When we get time off, it will be time to relax, but we've got one more game!“

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