No contact from Tottenham for Crewe's Max Clayton

Tottenham Hotspur have not made any contact regarding Crewe striker Max Clayton, according to boss Dario Gradi.

Scouts from 17 Premier League clubs, including Tottenham, watched .

And Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke that he was disappointed to see newspaper reports linking the 17-year-old with a move to White Hart Lane.

"It doesn't do anyone any good. It raises the expectation level," he said.

"There's a high level of expectation placed on these kids. For instance, there's a line in the newspaper this morning linking Max with Tottenham.

"His parents are terrific and that's why he's handling it very well, but sometimes the parents can get carried away and they put great expectations on their kids.

"With the great rewards that there are now for players who make it to the top, there's definitely more pressure than there used to be."

Gradi, now 70, has helped to develop the careers of several future internationals at Gresty Road, including David Platt, Dean Ashton, Seth Johnson, Danny Murphy and Robbie Savage.

And there are high hopes that current Crewe youngsters including Clayton and midfielder Nick Powell, who represented England Under-17s at the World Cup in Mexico earlier this year, could replicate that success.

However, Gradi is keen to protect the players and does not want to let them to leave the Alex before they are ready to make the step up to a higher level.

"If you look at it from the supporters' point of view," he said, "they actually enjoy seeing those boys go off, but they wouldn't if they'd gone before they'd played in the first team.

"When our ex-players appear on television, that gives our supporters a great deal of satisfaction, as it does to us.

"It's also a great advert for the academy and a good reason why parents should resist the overtures from big clubs.

"I always said before that I wouldn't sell a player unless he was going to go into a Premier League first team, which is what happened with Seth and Danny.

"That's probably not going to be the case now because it's very hard to get into a Premier League first team from any league below.

"Everything's taken on its merits and I think it's good for all our kids to be here until they get through to the first team and play well enough to be challenging for a first team at a higher level."

Meanwhile, Crewe have taken former Sheffield Wednesday defender Richard Hinds on trial for a second time, following a short spell with the League Two club in August.

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