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Spurs’ young defenders waiting for their breakthrough

This article is part of Football FanCast’s In The Pipeline series, which takes a look at some of the most promising young talent either linked with clubs or emerging from their academies…

Tottenham Hotspur have a number of youngsters waiting to make their first-team breakthrough.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men have been in poor form in recent weeks and have not won in the league since September, while they have been waiting since January for a win on the road.

However, one feels that the promotion of youth could be a way out of this mess, with fans likely to be enamoured with the idea of academy products making the step up.

Football FanCast, as a result, has taken a look at three defenders who could be the next in line to stake their claims under Mauricio Pochettino.

Japhet Tanganga

Reports suggest that Spurs are keen to tie the defender down to a new deal as they look to stop him leaving the club for a compensatory fee at the end of the season.

A 20-year-old centre-back who has won caps for England at various youth levels between U16 and U20, he made his competitive debut in the Carabao Cup defeat to Colchester United earlier this season.

That came after outings in the International Champions Cup pre-season tournament, in which he featured against the likes of Juventus, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

Tanganga joined Spurs when he was 10 and the club’s official website list his jumping ability as a major strength, presumably both in defence and in attack.

The likes of Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez block the path to the first-team currently but the two Belgium internationals could well depart at the end of the season, with their contracts expiring too.

Thus, Tanganga could well get his chance before then, as Pochettino runs the rule over the youngster.

TJ Eyoma

A versatile defender, Eyoma can play at centre-back or at right-back and has already made his senior bow for the club.

The 19-year-old appeared against Tranmere Rovers in the Carabao Cup last season and is currently a fixture for the U23 side, making 45 appearances in total.

Eyoma is also an England youth international, winning caps at U16, U17, U18 and U19 level, lifting the World Cup with the U17s.

Technically sound and composed on the ball, Eyoma is reminiscent of Eric Dier in terms of his versatility and one has to believe that he will get a chance sooner rather than later if he continues to perform at such a high level in the youth ranks.

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Brooklyn Lyons-Foster

Just 18, Lyons-Foster has been playing for the club’s U23 squad this season and can play in both full-back positions as well as at centre-back.

Talented on the ball and able to get up and down the pitch, he scored the winning goal last season in the UEFA Youth League clash with PAOK, as the development squad reached the Round of 16.

He is perhaps not as far along in his development as either Eyoma or Tanganga, but Lyons-Foster has promise and is still only a teenager.

Nevertheless, he has been capped at both U16 and U17 level by England and is clearly following the correct path.

Article title: Spurs’ young defenders waiting for their breakthrough

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