Jose Mourinho has revealed that he will be starting Ben Davies against Ludogorets this evening. Tottenham Hotspur will play host to the Bulgarians, who are currently rooted to the bottom of their Europa League group on zero points. Spurs are currently tied with Antwerp and LASK, who have all won two games and lost one.
A victory this evening will give Mourinho a foot in the door as his side look to progress into the next round. Speaking in his latest press conference, the manager said: “I will not play the same team I played against Manchester City. Of course I’m not going to. Ben Davies has to start. He didn’t play Sunday, he plays tomorrow.”
Mourinho is in a tough predicament following the signing of former Real Madrid ace Sergio Reguilon. He is currently torn between the 23-year-old new recruit and Davies, who has been with the club for six years. The Wales international has started all of Tottenham’s Europa League matches so far, but has recently fallen out of favour in the Premier League.
As a left-back, it appears that Reguilon is Mourinho’s firm choice, which is completely understandable considering he was brought to north London for a reason. However, for a veteran like Davies who still has many years left in him, it will be a frustrating situation.
The defender’s current £65,000 per week contract runs until 2024 and with him still being a big part of the European action, it doesn’t look like either Mourinho or Daniel Levy are willing to part ways with him. The three-time Premier League winning manager recently lauded Davies’ performance as a centre-back against LASK, labelling him a “very intelligent” player.
Indeed, the Welshman’s versatility has pulled Spurs out of a hole on a few occasions and will likely continue to do so. However, tonight will be a big chance for Davies to dazzle Mourinho and go shoulder-to-shoulder with Reguilon over a starting spot in the Premier League.
A solid defensive performance against Ludogorets will surely put him on the manager’s radar for their clash with Chelsea at the weekend. It will be a tall ask to elbow Reguilon out of the spotlight but one that Davies must tackle head on if he wants a secure future with the club.