Japhet Tanganga has opened up on his difficult spell at Augsburg during the first half of the season, admitting that the managerial change at the club did not help his prospects of game time.
The centre-back would have seen the loan switch to Augsburg as the ideal platform to get his career back on track but things did not go according to plan for him in Germany.
The 24-year-old was out with an injury during the first couple of months of the season and when he eventually returned to fitness, he failed to make a single appearance for the club.
Unsurprisingly, Tanganga was recalled by Spurs in January and loaned out to Millwall for the second half of the season.
When asked about his struggles at Augsburg, the defender told Southwark News: “I think in football it’s a lot of things, it’s not just one thing. Obviously, I came over there injured and they still took me on.
“The manager was sacked and the new one came in and he had his ideologies and he didn’t favour me in the team, but that’s not a problem, that’s how football goes. I was just keeping myself ready for when an opportunity arises for when I was able to be involved. Unfortunately, it didn’t.
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“But I wanted to be ready and fit to maybe find somewhere else in January for an opportunity if it presented itself, which it did. Now I’m here at Millwall, involved in [three] games more than I did at Augsburg, which is progress.”
Japhet Tanganga learned a lot despite not playing
The Spurs academy graduate insisted that his experience over the last six months was still valuable, even though he did not get any game time under his belt.
He continued: “You definitely have to look at yourself. Obviously coming in injured didn’t help but you have to look at yourself. Like could I have done more in training? Could I have pushed a bit more. Definitely I look at myself in that situation but it’s not just one thing. It’s a multitude of things of why it maybe didn’t work.
“I wasn’t playing but it was a nice to learn a new culture, learn a new language and Augsburg were very good to me in terms of how they treated me. It didn’t work out on the pitch but off the pitch, it was a great group of players, great staff and they made it really welcoming for me just as it has been at Millwall.”
Tanganga has had a promising start to his time at the Den, having delivered two decent performances against Hull City and Preston North End.
The Englishman has had the chance to train with some world-class players at Spurs over the last few years and he hoped to use that experience to help the Lions push up the Championship table.
He added: “You play against the best to match try and match yourself up and see if you’re able to deal with the best and there’s things I’ve added to my game due to the way I’ve had to defend against Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min [in training] that I can bring into my footballing ability. Definitely, it’s been very helpful for my growth working under great managers and playing with great players.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Dropping down the Championship might prove to be an inspired choice to rejuvenate Tanganga’s career, much like it has proven for both Harry Winks and Joe Rodon.
The 24-year-old desperately needed regular game time and if he plays well over the coming months, a few Premier League clubs could come knocking on Spurs’ door for the defender in the summer.