He’s at St Mirren now, but not too long ago, Jonathan Obika was banging goals in for fun during a spell in the Tottenham youth academy.
The 29-year-old joined the Buddies in the summer and has since scored two goals, picking up a really catch tune from Buddies supporters in the process.
Up until 2014, the striker was at Spurs but only made a handful appearances for them. Instead, what he did endure was 11 different loan stints before finding a permanent club in Swindon Town.
Obika insists though that his time playing for the Tottenham academy side’s was ‘easy’, whilst also taking time to praise his former teammate and now Spurs captain Harry Kane.
“It felt very easy to be fair because me and Ryan Mason were up top together, Andros was on one flank and whether it was John Bostock or Adam Smith [now at Bournemouth] on the right flank, I was getting a lot of goals and I enjoyed it,” Obika told the BBC.
“What stood out for me was you could see his finishing was very clean from a young age,” Obika says of Kane. “You would always see him after training doing free-kicks or finishing, but I feel our whole group was strong on that.
“There were times where fans may have thought, ‘this person’s not good enough’ but we knew if you give him a chance, he’ll take it. As players you know which players have the right work ethic and talent to go with it, so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t make it.”
Obika and Kane have gone on to have different careers
According to the interview, Obika is still close friends with many of the people he met at the London club. His time with Kane in the academy though shows how differently a loan spell can pan out for a player.
Whilst Kane developed and broke into the Tottenham first-team following spells at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester City, Obika didn’t have the same luck.
Obika got stuck on the loan deal merry-go-round but that’s behind him now. His focus this term will be to help keep St Mirren in the Premiership, with the Paisley side currently sitting joint-bottom in tenth.
He’ll be hoping that’s as ‘easy’ as his Spurs academy days, but that’s anything but a guarantee.