Rochdale’s schoolboy midfielder Daniel Adshead could face Tottenham Hotspur in fifth round of the FA Cup.
Born in 2001, the Manchester schoolboy became Dale’s youngest ever debutant – aged 16 years and 17 days – when he faced Bury in the EFL Trophy on 19 September.
Adshead, who has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea, has since helped the club reach the FA Cup fifth round for only the third time in their history.
He is so young, child protection regulations mean he must get changed before and after games away from his team-mates.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know Dan’s got a great future in the game,” Hill, who gave England defender John Stones his debut for Barnsley in 2012, told BBC Sport.
“People forget he’s only 16. He’s making a lot of progress for someone still at school.”
“He got on the pitch against Millwall in the FA Cup, he played 64 minutes against Doncaster in the third round, and he’ll probably be involved as a substitute against Tottenham.”
“When he is involved with the first team he misses a few days of school, but when we travelled down to Millwall he was doing his homework on the coach.”
While Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino spent a reported £42m on defender Davinson Sanchez last August, the most Hill has spent on one player at Rochdale is £75,000.
“We are very astute with our money and we live within our means. That shouldn’t be overlooked. The football world is in massive debt,” Hill said.
On facing Spurs, the 48-year-old added: “It’s probably the biggest game in Rochdale’s history from a prestige point of view. It’s the haves against the have-nots.”
“But once the whistle goes it won’t be about who has the biggest wage packet. For 90 minutes we are on a level playing field with Tottenham.”