SAN JOSE, Calif. – Given their shared Tottenham Hotspur pedigree and similar attacking mindset, John Bostock is aware that San Jose Earthquakes fans will inevitably measure him against the memories of just-departed Simon Dawkins.
Seeing Bostock wearing No. 10 while training with the Quakes on Thursday certainly didn’t dampen those expectations.
“I know I’ve got big shoes to fill,” Bostock (above, with Spurs) said. “Simon was No. 10 last season, so I know I’m probably going to get compared to him, because I’m from the same club and I play a similar position. But I’m my own player.”
Whether Bostock will be that player for the Quakes is still an open question. Bostock, four-and-a-half years removed from becoming the youngest first-team player in Spurs history, is training with San Jose for a two-week stint – with the potential for a possible loan that would keep him with the Quakes through June.
“It all happened really fast,” said Bostock, who has had several loans to smaller English clubs since joining Spurs in 2008, most recently with third-tier Swindon Town. “I was told on Wednesday [Feb. 6] that I was traveling Thursday morning. So I didn’t really have a lot of time to plan or get my head around it. I saw it was a great opportunity to come out here and get my head down and work hard, see what happens.”
The 21-year-old Bostock can play across the midfield and as a second striker. He models his game in part after former Brazilian international Rivaldo, a veteran of Barcelona and AC Milan and a fellow left-footer with a proclivity to fire from long range.
“I’m a creative attacking midfielder who likes to shoot,” Bostock said. “If I could help any team, than that’s my job, to create and get goals. That’s me.”
Bostock has been on the Quakes’ radar for years; when San Jose brought Dawkins over for the first time on a loan in 2011, Bostock was the other name Tottenham and the Quakes discussed. Yallop said he saw Spurs’ reserves in action against Queens Park Rangers last winter and “the two best players on the field” were Bostock and Dawkins.
“He’s got a great ability,” Yallop said of Bostock. “Hopefully we can just get the best out of him, if we sign him.”
That would involve multiple moving parts, and would be only a short-term situation, since Bostock’s current contract with Spurs ends in June. But with the Quakes nursing some injuries up front and Bostock still looking to find a semi-permanent professional home, he could be a good fit to replace Dawkins, whom Tottenham lent to Aston Villa last month, eschewing a purchase offer from San Jose.
“[He’s] a little bit younger than Simon when he came over, but full of potential and full of desire to do well,” Yallop said. “This is probably his type of league. The way we play is a sharp, quick type of style that I think hopefully will suit him. And he’ll suit us.”
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.