Spurs step up scouting of Southend starlet with Pleat in attendance

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham scout David Pleat was in attendance at Vicarage Road again on Monday when Watford's Under-23s lost to Leeds United.

Tottenham Hotspur scout David Pleat saw 17-year-old Southend starlet Charlie Kelman bag a brace in the Shrimpers’ 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Stevenage on Tuesday.

Spurs were first linked to Kelman in March and Pleat’s presence at Broadhall Way suggests the Premier League club remain on the trail of the talented striker.

Pleat, who has had four spells in charge of Spurs – including three as caretaker-manager, has worked as a scout for the club for a number of years now – specialising mainly in finding young talents from the lower divisions.

He was spotted sat in the dugouts alongside Southend United manager Kevin Bond before Tuesday’s first-round tie and was no doubt impressed with the performance of Kelman later.

The Basildon-born teenager scored twice within the opening 10 minutes of the second half to see the Shrimpers through to the second round, where they have been handed a home tie against MK Dons.

Kelman first got his head on the end of a pinpoint cross from Elvis Bwomono seconds after the restart to level the tie at 1-1.

He was then teed up by Nathan Ralph before finding a pocket of space and smashing the ball past the Stevenage keeper for what proved to be the winner.

Back in March, it was reported Spurs and West Ham were both in the hunt for the signature of the youngster, who grew up in Texas and was once in FC Dallas’ youth set-up.

Kelman’ goalscoring exploits for Southend’s youth sides last term saw him given a chance in their first team and he has not looked back.

The USA Under-18 international enhanced his growing reputation with a stunning goal from the halfway line on his first-team debut against Plymouth Argyle in January, which saw him win League One Goal of the Month for January.

A number of Premier League and Championship sides quickly got wind of his talent and began tracking him, with West Ham clearly keen to snap up a talent who grew up right under their noses.

But Spurs expressed an interest in signing the prolific forward last season and Pleat appears to be compiling a dossier on the striker ahead of a potential swoop.