Paul Robinson has backed Jose Mourinho’s decision to keep Japhet Tanganga at the club despite other clubs reportedly expressing their interest in taking the Tottenham stopper on loan.
Injury problems have prevented Tanganga from building on his promising displays last campaign after breaking into the side following his impressive Premier League debut against Liverpool.
The Spurs academy graduate is yet to make an appearance in the Premier League so far this season.
It was reported on transfer deadline day that West Brom and Southampton were both interested in taking the 21-year-old on loan until the end of the season, with The Athletic later revealing that Mourinho blocked the youngster from leaving the club.
Robinson suggested that since the Tottenham boss has often employed three at the back, a versatile defender like Tanganga could come in handy during the second half of the season.
However, the pundit did express surprise at the fact that the Portuguese coach started with Sissoko at right-wing-back over Tanganga during Spurs’ 1-0 defeat to Brighton last week.
The former Tottenham goalkeeper told Football Insider: “Tanganga burst onto the scene last year and he is a real talent, a really exciting prospect.
“I understand why Mourinho wants to keep him because sometimes he wants to play a three and sometimes he wants to play a four.
“The personnel at the back has been rotated a lot. Mourinho has not had a settled back four so to have Tanganga as an option at centre-half and full-back is useful.
“But saying that, Sissoko was chosen to play right-wing back the other week so it is a difficult one.
“I can see why Mourinho has decided to keep him though.”
Spurs Web Opinion
While Mourinho’s decision to employ three centre-backs on multiple occasions over recent weeks might have been a factor in his decision to retain Tanganga, I believe a bigger reason was likely the poor form of our central defenders. We are well over the half-way point in the season and it still does not seem as if Jose has settled on what his first-choice centre-back pairing is.
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