Doncaster Rovers loanee on Tottenham Hotspur grounding, promotion and international call-ups

Thimothée Lo-Tutala has only played two games for Doncaster Rovers. But it feels like he's already got the potential to be a cult hero.
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In those two games he's made important stops, shown a laidback approach when it comes to playing out from the back and has quickly struck up a relationship with the supporters.

Pictures on social media showing the Hull City loanee celebrating with the away end after the vital, last-gasp point at Sutton United only endeared him to the fanbase.

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Lo-Tutala might have arrived as a relative unknown but delve into his back-story and it reveals a fascinating story of positivity amid various knockbacks.

Thimothée Lo-Tutala has quickly become a fans' favourite at Rovers. (Howard Roe).Thimothée Lo-Tutala has quickly become a fans' favourite at Rovers. (Howard Roe).
Thimothée Lo-Tutala has quickly become a fans' favourite at Rovers. (Howard Roe).

"I had a lot of rejection at first. I went on trial at places like Reading and West Ham and got turned away before for signing for Brentford," the 20-year-old said in an interview with Rovers' matchday programme.

"In my second season there, they closed the academy down and I had no club, like hundreds of boys at the time. Spurs, thank God, called my Dad a couple of weeks later and said they wanted me on trial."

Whilst he didn't make a senior outing for Spurs - he played just once in an EFL Trophy loss at Oxford for the under-21s, alongside a certain Matthew Craig - he says the experience was an excellent grounding.

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"I signed there and spent six good years there, training with the first team and 'keepers like Hugo Lloris, World Cup winner and captain of my country, and Pierluigi Gollini - just top people and keepers."

Born in Paris, Lo-Tutala's family moved to London at a young age but he maintains that link with his home country.

He still speaks fluent French and has been capped at under-19 and under-20s level: "Obviously going away with the national team for the first time was massive for me and it made me feel even more French if anything."

After leaving Spurs he joined Hull on a three-year deal. A short spell on loan at Stevenage at the back-end of last season saw him play seven times in a team that earned promotion to League One.

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On that elevation, he says: "Most players in their whole 20-year career don't get promoted. To do that in my first loan was incredible and I couldn't be more grateful."

The brief for his temporary stay at Rovers might be a different one, but he says the aim is to continue progressing and improving.

He adds: "We know that three or four wins on the bounce or no losses could jolt you up the table fairly quickly.

"It's a really close group. Everyone's on the same wavelength. There's just positive energy within the group and we all know where we want to go - just get up the table as much as possible."