After Sergio Reguilon’s arrival from Real Madrid in the summer, Ben Davies would have been forgiven for being concerned over how his future at Tottenham would look like.
The Lilywhites’ summer signing had impressed for Europa League winners Sevilla before joining the north Londoners on a permanent deal, and at just 24, seems primed to enter his peak years at the club.
But on Sunday night against Wolves in the Premier League, Davies showed that he can still play a huge role for Spurs both this season and in the future.
Playing on the left-hand side of a back-three – a job he has done for Wales – the 27-year-old looked assured in his defending and dealt admirably with the unenviable task of having to deal with Adama Traore.
Aside from perhaps being at fault for Roman Saiss’ equaliser, Davies was undoubtedly one of Spurs’ better performers of the evening. As per Sofascore, he won eight of his 13 total duels, made two tackles and two interceptions apiece, and also provided two key passes too – not to mention setting up Tanguy Ndombele for his 1st minute strike.
His ability to play as both a full-back and as part of a back-three is something the Spurs boss has previously talked up, saying: “Ben and Reguilon is a little bit the same. Can they play together or for one to play and the other one has to be on the bench? Yes, they can play together and that’s a very good thing for us.
“Ben is very intelligent. So that’s why it’s quite easy to understand the difference between playing left-back, centre-back with five or centre-back with four. Of course left-footed there are not many centre-backs with a left-foot. Some clubs have them but the majority don’t. To have him as an option is also good because to attack, the build-up is also important.”
That versatility is crucial to the way Mourinho can set his team up, not only in his pre-match briefings, but also how he can adapt on the fly during a game too.
They may not have come away with all three points, but Davies’ impressive performance at Molineux has given Mourinho some serious food for thought going forward about how best to use him.