The 20-year-old forward enjoyed a run of starts for the League Two side after linking up with them at the start of the season, but found his opportunities limited as the campaign progressed.
To his credit, he continued to work hard to try to regain a place in the Shrimpers’ team and often made an impact from the bench for Phil Brown’s side.
Now that his spell at Roots Hall is over, the confident young striker has spoken about how beneficial the last few months have been to him – and insisted he’s looking to go back out on loan as soon as possible to continue his development.
“It was a really positive experience at Southend – the best experience of my life,” said Shaq, who scored twice in our 4-0 win over Everton in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League on Monday afternoon – taking his tally to four goals in three starts in that competition for us this season.
“I went to Roots Hall, experienced what it was like to be in the team and also how it feels not being in the team and I think it’s made me a better player. That’s what I went there for to be honest.
“I also got to understand different people’s views – the opinions of older people who are more experienced and who have been around the game for a long time.
“At this stage of my career it’s so important for me to experience senior league football. My main goal is to play for the first team here at Tottenham in future years, so anything that could help me get there is a benefit.
“Right now I want to go back out on loan to another club. I just want to be playing football because that’s the only way I can continue my development. Hopefully, for the remainder of the season, I’ll be playing games, wherever that may be. I want to be scoring goals in senior football.”
John McDermott, our Academy Manager, added: “Shaq had a very good start at Southend but then credit to the players who have been selected ahead of him.
“I’m pleased because he’s toughed it out, been on the bench, made substitute appearances and scored goals off the bench but Southend are doing well at the moment and it’s Phil Brown’s prerogative to select the three more experienced players he has in the squad.
“Both Phil and I agree that it’s in Shaq’s best interests to seek an alternative. He’s in his Under-20 year and needs to play, he needs to find a rhythm and to be playing regularly, so we think it’s best that he comes back to Spurs.
“He was a little rusty for the Under-21s against Southampton last week but the difference between his performance at Southampton and Everton on Monday was dramatic, in just the space of a week.
“We are hoping this will kick-start him for the latter stages of the season. If he stays here, so be it, but we’d like to think he’ll be able to go back out on loan and start scoring goals again in the Football League.”
Phil Brown, Southend United manager, said: “From my point of view Shaq did the business for us and scored some important goals.
“He may have only got on the score-sheet four times but they earned us 10 points so he’s certainly played his part.”