‘He has taught me a lot’ – Spurs youngster opens up on Mourinho’s mentorship

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho has previously developed a reputation as someone who prefers to buy ready-made talent rather than giving academy prospects an opportunity (Daily Mail).

The Spurs boss never misses out a chance to point out how unfair the accusation is, often citing the young players who made their debuts under him (Football.London).

Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga, who was handed his Premier League debut by the Portuguese this season certainly begs to differ with the perception of the head coach.

He claimed that the 57-year-old gives young players the opportunity to break into the first team, but the responsibility must lie with the player to repay their faith in Mourinho.

Tanganga told Goal: “Even before, I’m pretty sure that when he was at Real Madrid, Raphael Varane was very young and in the team. The same at United, Scott McTominay came through there.

“He’s the same as every manager – they want to give young players a chance but it’s up to the young player to show them they’re capable of coping in whatever league they’re in, Premier League or La Liga.

“It’s not just down to the manager wanting to play you, it’s down to the young player showing the determination to the manager that they want to play as well.”

The 21-year-old has already played at centre-back, left-back and right-back in his relatively short time as a first-team player at Spurs.

He revealed that Mourinho’s advice on dealing with different situations has been extremely helpful and also claimed that playing in multiple positions has helped him develop more as a player.

Tanganga added: “He has taught me a lot. In training, he’s given me a lot of information, a lot of details, ways to improve. How to defend one v one, how to defend set-pieces or work in wide areas and at corners.

“He’s given me a lot of information and I feel playing right-back and left-back has added to my game and allowed me to be adaptable and defend in all areas of the pitch, not just at centre-half. He has really been very helpful.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I believe one of the reasons that Mourinho has chosen to deploy Tanganga at full-back is to help him better understand different aspects of the game and to sense danger better. I believe he will be used as a centre-half once he gets a few more games under his belt and becomes a regular in the side.

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