Football.London journalist Alasdair Gold has urged Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho to make a decision on Japhet Tanganga’s place in the first-team.
Tanganga has been one of the break-out stars of the season for Spurs, making 11 appearances for the senior side, including starting and completing the full 90 minutes against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea in the Premier League.
However, the England U20 international has been used in a variety of positions across the defence, and Gold has urged Mourinho to decide just where his long-term future lies.
He said: “The youngest of Tottenham’s centre-backs can play on the left of the central pairing and has the pace most of his team-mates in the role lack. Mourinho must decide whether the time is right to make Tanganga a mainstay of that defence rather simply a plaster to fix other roles that aren’t his specialty.
“It could be time to shake up a misfiring back-line with the young centre-back. Tanganga could also help dictate Mourinho’s transfer policy during a window that will see little money available and only the priority positions fixed. This is going to be a transfer window like no other after an unusual season and at a time when Mourinho needs to create a defence to match those he has had in the past, Tanganga might just hold the key for him and Spurs.”
With Jan Vertonghen looking set to leave the club when his contract expires, and Spurs having the joint-worst defensive record in the Premier League’s top ten with 40 goals conceded, a shake-up where the back-line is built around Tanganga could transform the north Londoners.
At just 21, Tanganga can still be moulded in a top-class central defender by Mourinho, and as Gold alludes to, has the kind of pace that others in the squad don’t have.
His versatility has almost been to his detriment, being shifted around and being asked to play in unfamiliar roles. Settling on one position will only help in making sure he begins to develop the positional side of the game much quicker, and become a more dominant defender sooner than expected.