Tottenham Hotspur head coach Robert Vilahamn believes that on-loan Grace Clinton will become England’s starting number ten in the coming years.
Clinton, 20, is currently with Spurs on a season-long arrangement from Manchester United. Speaking in his press conference ahead of this Sunday’s WSL game with Brighton, Swedish boss Vilahamn responded to a question from She Kicks on where he saw Clinton’s best position.
“She’s a ten, absolutely. In the future, she’s going to start as a ten in the national team, I’m quite sure of that.”
The current England Under-23 has been part of the Young Lionesses at multiple age groups in recent years. Joining Manchester United from Everton last summer, Clinton would this year enjoy a sizeable part in Bristol City’s Championship-winning campaign, scoring six goals during a half-season loan with the Robins.
Linking up with Spurs now offers the attacking prospect her first chance of a full season as a regular starter in the WSL. Clinton began last weekend’s 3-1 win at home to Bristol City, having played almost the entirety of the narrow loss (2-1) at Chelsea in the season opener.
Vilahamn offered further detail on the part he envisions her playing across the course of 2023-24.
“Sometimes when you’re young and you want to be on the ball quite much, and you don’t want to lose it in the risky moments, taking a step out to the left like she’s doing now is a good way, because then she can go into the space with the ball, instead of starting in the space, basically. Then she’s also finding her way into that pocket and taking a shot.
“So, for me, she will be a ten, but right now, she’s doing a good job for me as a left-winger, so she will probably end up in both positions for me.”
The Liverpudlian has already made an impression in her career as a fun-loving character, as explored in her interview with us last season for Issue 78. Vilahamn, managing in England for the first time after arriving from the Damallsvenskan’s BK Häcken this summer, was asked of his early experiences of the West Derby native’s humour, or if she has been settling in more quietly.
“Oh, no, she’s not quiet! She’s very humble but still a very fun person, and she’s getting along with the players.
“The only thing, I have problems actually understanding her because of her accent, from Liverpool! But she’s a really fun person.”