Legendary footballer Ledley King has predicted a bright future for Blackburn Rovers winger Dilan Markanday.
He described Markanday, who made his debut for Spurs in a Europa Conference League match against Vitesse a year ago, as a “standout” talent”.
The “very good young player” of Indian heritage became the first British Asian to play for the century-old Premier League club. However, he has since moved to the second-tier Rovers who compete in the EFL Championship.
King said Markanday trained “quite often” when he was coaching with the first team at Spurs.
“And to be honest, Dilan was one of the standout players in training all the time,” the club’s ambassador told the Sky Sports News.
“He was very good, a very good young player and the manager at the time really liked him as well,” he said on the sidelines of an event organised by the fan group Spurs REACH, co-founded by Sash Patel Fahim Rahman
King, who played for Tottenham till 2012, however, conceded the severe competition youngsters faced in getting to the top level.
“The difficulty that the young players have [at Spurs] is trying to get into a team of world-class players, and that is always going to be a difficult challenge,” he said.
“But I had no doubt about Dilan, regardless of where he was going to have a career in the game,” he said adding, “he’s a very talented young player.”
When he took the field for Spurs against Vitesse on October 21 last year, Markanday’s feat created ripples in the south Asian community which has been under-represented in football.
“It was a proud moment, being the first British Asian, it is obviously great. I hope more and more come through and I am the first of many. All my friends and family were very happy for me. I had lots of messages from Twitter, and Instagram was blowing up”, he had said last year.
Rovers announced in January this year that the club signed Markanday on a three-and-a-half-year contract, with an option to extend it for another year. His first goal for the team came against Hartlepool United in August.