LONDON -- United States youth international Cameron Carter-Vickers "deserves to play in the starting XI" for Tottenham, says manager Mauricio Pochettino.
The 18-year-old centre-back has yet to make his professional debut for Spurs in a competitive fixture, but started against Juventus and Atletico Madrid during their tour of Australia in July, as well as a later friendly against Inter Milan.
Pochettino then named Carter-Vickers to the Spurs bench for all four Premier League fixtures this season as well as Wednesday's Champions League defeat to Monaco, and the manger said the teenager deserves to be in the squad ahead of the more experienced Kevin Wimmer.
"I believe that Cameron is doing well," Pochettino told a news conference. "If you watch the games against Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan again, I think he deserves to play in the starting XI.
"He can give to the team better quality than another player. It's for that [he's named on the bench]. All my decisions are because I think a player can give more things than another player. It's for that that I picked him on the bench.
"Kevin is the same. He arrived late to preseason and was injured, remember. He didn't play in Australia. And Cameron did very well. You can watch the games. And if he deserves to be on the bench, then why not? Because he is young? It's about performance."
Wimmer impressed in 21 appearances last season, including nine Premier League starts, and he agreed a new five-year deal in July.
But he is yet to be named in a matchday squad for Spurs this season, and last month a source close to Pochettino told ESPN FC that the club would listen to offers for the 23-year-old Austria international, who joined Tottenham from Cologne in May 2015.
The defender was Spurs' only Euro 2016 representative to be included in the club's preseason trip to Australia but did not play because of a tight hamstring.
If he doesn't play on Sunday against Sunderland, Carter-Vickers could make his competitive Tottenham debut in Wednesday's EFL Cup match against Gillingham.
The Southend-born defender -- who is the son of former LSU basketball star Howard "Hi-C" Carter and an English mother -- has represented the U.S. under-23 squad and played in the Under-20 World Cup when he was just 17.