Tottenham Hotspur legend Gary Mabbutt has hailed Japhet Tanganga after his recent performances, telling Football FanCast that he deserves a run at right-back.
The youngster came into the side against Aston Villa after a dismal week for Jose Mourinho’s side.
They lost to Arsenal in the north London derby and were then beaten by Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League, as they inexplicably crashed out of the competition.
It was only Tanganga’s third appearance of the Premier League season, with his other two appearances coming in defeats to Manchester City and West Ham United – just last season Mourinho described the youngster’s performance against Liverpool as “fantastic”.
The senior right-backs in the squad, Serge Aurier and Matt Doherty, have struggled at times this season and Mabbutt was impressed with the youngster’s performance.
He went on to start against Newcastle, before being an unused substitute for the visit of Manchester United at the weekend.
Asked by FFC if the defender deserved a run at right-back, he replied: “Yes, he had a fantastic game against Villa.
“It was a defence which had been chopped and changed around quite a bit and to be able to put in such a good performance given the circumstances, I thought was a high commendation of him.
“He is an excellent player.”
Mabbutt also thinks that Tanganga’s lack of minutes thus far this season points to the fact that Spurs have a remarkably deep squad, and can essentially pick two first-teams.
And he believes that has had a positive effect on the development of players within the squad.
He added: “There’s a lot of competition for places and that’s what I always say about Spurs.
“We can put out two first-teams with the squad that we have and it’s all about competition.”