Jose Mourinho had plenty of nice words to say about Japhet Tanganga this afternoon in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Newcastle game on Sunday.
Tanganga started the last Premier League match against Aston Villa before joining up with the England U21 side for their European Championships.
Unfortunately, the Young Lions were knocked out at the group stage of the competition, with Tanganga playing one game at right-back and another in the centre of defence.
Mourinho claimed that the Spurs academy graduate has been their ’emergency’ man since taking over, playing in a variety of different positions.
While the head coach claimed that Tanganga is good in the air and has good positional sense defensively, he did add that the youngster needs to improve on his crossing and timing when arriving in attacking areas.
He also maintained that Tanganga’s best position moving forward, in his opinion, will be at right-back rather than in the centre of defence.
He said (Football London): “Japhet for us is being like the emergency guy.
“When we need he is there and when we need sometimes he is a right-back, as a left-back, other times in a centre-back in a defence of three and you can look at the recent matches with the national team, against Portugal he played right-back, two days later against Croatia he played centre-back.
“I don’t think it is a bad thing, especially for a young player, because what a young player needs is minutes and as a player I had many years ago, from right-back to left wing, ‘I am ready for you’ and as an emergency as a goalkeeper, so Japhet is a little bit like this.
“In spite of him being good in the air and he has a good positional education as a centre-back, I think probably his best position in the future is right-back.
“As you know he is not a giant, he needs to improve, his crossing needs to improve, the timings to arrive in attacking positions, but he is comfortable with the ball, he doesn’t make many mistakes, he is solid, reads the game well and is a player we can trust.
“You can see his debut was against Liverpool and then the matches he played are normally matches of responsibility and quality of the opponent. He is a player we trust. He is developing quite well, good kid. Humble kid, so all good.”
Have something to tell us about this article?