LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham teenager Marcus Edwards would be recognised as one of the best young players in the world if he was playing in South America, and has blamed Premier League clubs' mistrust of youth on English football's spending culture.
Edwards, the 17-year-old England youth international, made his Tottenham debut in the EFL Cup against Gillingham last month but he has been ruled out of Tuesday's fourth-round match at Liverpool with an ankle injury.
While Edwards may not feature again this season, particularly if Spurs lose at Anfield, Pochettino was a regular for Argentinian club Newell's Old Boys at the same age. He says English football's spending culture makes similar cases rare in the Premier League.
"It is cultural," Pochettino explained. "Maybe if Marcus Edwards were born in Brazil or Argentina, today he would be one of the most interesting prospects in football in the world. Maybe all the big teams would be fighting to buy him.
"But he is at Tottenham, he is in England and, at 17, he is still a kid. We cannot appreciate he is a man, nearly a man, and he deserves to play.
"That is the cultural difference. The Premier League is one of the stronger financial leagues, and Tottenham -- like Liverpool and all the clubs -- prefer to buy experience and quality, bring a player who is 24, 23 or 26 that performs quickly, rather than give time to the younger players and wait to build a prospect like Marcus Edwards.
"That is the balance. Tottenham is in a different project. Of course, we bring in players but we try to give the opportunity to the younger players who have potential one day to be in the first team.
"It is for the clubs to sell the players as they need the money to survive. In Argentina if you are 19 or 20 and you haven't made your debut people think you are not a good player. It is a completely different vision of football."
Although Edwards will be sidelined for six to seven weeks after damaging his ankle in Leverkusen last week, Harry Winks, Joshua Onomah, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Georges Kevin-Nkoudou are all expected to start at Anfield.
Pochettino says Tottenham's young players can follow in the footsteps of Harry Kane if they hold their nerve against a team he regards as serious contenders for the league title.
"If they want to be one day a player who can stay in the first team and be important they need to cope with the pressure. But they can do this only if we give them the opportunity to see if they can cope," Pochettino said.
"If they can cope with the pressure they will be important players like Harry Kane. If not, it is because they are not at the level to play for Tottenham.
"It is important for a club like Tottenham who has invested a lot of money to create space for players with talent like Marcus, Harry Winks and Josh Onomah.
"For me Liverpool have one of the best squads in the Premier League. After the summer, they have improved a lot by signing very good players and investing a lot of money. In the way they play, they are very aggressive. Liverpool are one of the contenders to win the league.
"We share the aggression and intensity. Liverpool and Tottenham are different squads but we share many values and principles."