Nuno Santo must recall Tottenham Hotspur’s August ‘Fan Player of the Month’ to his starting XI tonight as he heads back to his old stomping ground in the Carabao Cup.
Japhet Tanganga is available for selection against Wolverhampton Wanderers after serving his one-game suspension at the weekend.
The versatile 22-year-old academy gem was sent off for his two bookings against Crystal Palace over a week ago but considering his form this campaign, it would be foolish to punish him further and as such, he must be in the line-up this evening.
These two sides met at Molineux just a month ago, with Spurs coming out on top in a 1-0 victory and Tanganga played a starring role in keeping Wolves’ tricky frontline quiet.
In fact, he had quite the afternoon against the explosive force that is Adama Traore, who could well feature again today.
The Spanish winger is one of the most feared in his role in the Premier League – indeed, his 8.02 WhoScored rating is the highest in the division right now and he’s averaged a whopping 9.8 dribbles per outing, more than double any other player in the top-flight.
He is clearly Bruno Lage’s biggest threat and after Tanganga silenced him last month, he should be given another go at repeating such a feat.
As per SofaScore, the 6-foot beast recorded a match-high seven clearances and was very solid in other defensive aspects as he managed two interceptions and two blocks, too.
Tanganga began the season at right-back, which led to Spurs recording three straight clean sheets and whilst he’s a centre-back by trade, it’s evident that his best performances have come out wide.
After the win over Manchester City on the opening day, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville waxed lyrical about the Hotspur Way graduate.
“He handled Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish in that channel, with Sanchez and Højbjerg, brilliantly. I couldn’t have done that on my own 20 years ago – and I was a good full-back, played for Manchester United, played for England. But what that kid did out there today was really special from a one-on-one defending point of view.
“So I’m going to give credit to Tanganga today because he did something out on that pitch that I thought was really special, which was play one-on-one against, sometimes, two players who are exceptional going against players, dribbling against players, and he stuck at it and that’s why he won Man of the Match. Moura could have had it, but it was Tanganga because of that.”
It’s that sort of performance that will be required to stop the brute that is Traore and having done it against the aforementioned City duo, as well as the Wolves star himself, it would make the world of sense to unleash Tanganga tonight.