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Tottenham have to start playing defender amid contract talks

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

Tottenham Hotspur have offered Japhet Tanganga a new contract, per Football Insider.

What’s the word?

The young defender made his debut for the club in the Carabao Cup defeat to Colchester United but his contract expires at the end of the current season.

And manager Mauricio Pochettino – described as a big admirer – has now signed off on a new offer for the 20-year-old, who has been with the club since the age of 10.

Indeed, the report states that the club have high hopes for Tanganga’s development and believe he could become a first-team player in future.

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Tanganga has just 63 minutes of first-team football to his name and every single one of those came against Colchester. At this point, what would be his inclination for signing a new deal?

The fact is that Spurs can offer Tanganga a unique pathway into the first-team. Both Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have contracts that expire in the summer; it is not inconceivable to imagine both leaving the club.

That would leave Spurs with just Davinson Sanchez, Juan Foyth and Eric Dier as their options at centre-back; Foyth is seen more as a right-back by Pochettino, while Dier regularly plays in midfield.

Should Pochettino drop Eriksen?

No, he has to play

No, he has to play

Yes, and start Lo Celso

Yes, and start Lo Celso

Yes, and start Lamela

Yes, and start Lamela

Yes, and start Alli

Yes, and start Alli

There would be no harm, then, in promoting Tanganga now and exposing him to the realities of the first-team squad, with Pochettino proving he is indeed a fan of his qualities.

At the same time, it would likely give fans something to cheer about; Spurs are marooned in mid-table but fans adore seeing academy prospects given a chance.

Not only would it be a mood-lifter, but it would also show Tanganga that the pathway exists and that he can make it.

As it is, he has no real reason to sign on the dotted line over pushing for a move to the club that could instantly expose him to first-team football, albeit at a lesser level.

Article title: Tottenham have to start playing defender amid contract talks

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