Japhet Tanganga burst onto the scene for Spurs in their 1-0 loss to Liverpool back in January 2020 and, despite the result, he played tremendously.
However, the then 21-year-old found game time hard to come by for the rest of the campaign, making only five more appearances in the league. That trend has continued into this season where the defender has only started four games in the Premier League all year.
Tanganga also now faces a dilemma regarding his best position. Japhet developed in the academy as a centre back but is being used as a fullback with the senior squad.
Mourinho believes that Tanganga is best as a right-back and said in November 2020 that he would only use Japhet as a centre back in an emergency.
Due to his years developing as a centre back, Tanganga lacks certain offensive qualities that are typically desired in a modern-day fullback.
That has been seen this season as he has the least chances created, key passes, goal contributions, shots and the lowest pass completion out of the three Spurs right-backs (Aurier, Doherty, and Tanganga)
A loan could be considered for the defender this summer, especially after the success seen from Oliver Skipp down in the Championship this season.
However, Tanganga’s situation will depend entirely on Jose Mourinho and Serge Aurier’s futures for Spurs.
Should Mourinho be sacked, another manager could come in who prefers Tanganga as a centre back, a position that he is more fully developed at. That situation would likely see Tanganga stay at Spurs.
Should Mourinho stay, the youngster is unlikely to get game time so the pair may decide that a loan is the best option.
Serge Aurier could also decide Tanganga’s future. The Ivorian’s contract expires in 2022 and is avoiding putting pen to paper on a new deal.
Levy will likely try to sell the 28-year-old over the summer, should Aurier continue to avoid signing a new contract, in order to get some money for him while Spurs still can.
Should Tottenham fail to sign a suitable replacement, Tanganga would likely stay at the club as no manager would be comfortable with Matt Doherty as the only senior right-back.
Then there is always the possibility that Tanganga improves before the end of the season. Should this happen Mourinho could opt not to send him out on loan at all but rather use him more readily next season.
In any case, Tanganga will have to continue to develop if he is to become a consistent starter for Spurs. Unless the manager plans on playing him for at least 10-20 starts next season, he would be better served going out on loan at a Norwich level club.
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