Pundit claims Spurs defender has a ‘real fight on his hands’ to get back into first team

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

It has to be said that Matt Doherty has got off to a slow start in the Spurs set-up this season, with the Irish full-back seemingly struggling to adapt to a defensive four.

The 29-year-old was bought for around £15million from Wolves (Evening Standard) in the summer market. However, a failure to adapt to new surroundings and the improved form of Serge Aurier has led to Doherty struggling for minutes.

So far this season, Doherty has made just eight Premier League appearances (TransferMarkt). His last league start ended in a red card against Leeds United, a mistake which looked to have infuriated Jose Mourinho (HITC).

The good start to the season from Aurier continued on Sunday with the opening goal in Spurs’ away win at Sheffield United. The Ivorian has become a key figure in the Tottenham team of late and is even the club’s fourth top goalscorer this season (TransferMarkt).

Former Premier League striker, Noel Whelan believes that it will be difficult for Doherty to break into the Spurs set up as things stand. The ex-Leeds player added that there will have to be a ‘real fight’ for Doherty to return to the Spurs starting eleven in the near future.

Whelan stated (Football Insider): “It’s never easy leaving a club and going to a new club and adapting.

“He’s an international player, you’re playing in a group of lads there with excellent ability. He should be relishing this opportunity and shining through.

“I know he’s had certain issues with his discipline for his sending off and some injuries along the way.

“But you’ve got to hold your hands up to Aurier – he’s stepping up just when we thought he’d be off.

“A bit like Tanguy Ndombele. He’s shown a bit of fight, a bit of character. Now he’s showed he won’t be number two. He wants that number one shirt. He wants to be on that team sheet week in, week out.

“Doherty has a real fight on his hands. No new signing at a club wants to be second fiddle. Right now, he is. Aurier, with a goal on the weekend, will definitely keep his place for the next game.

“There’s a real scrap going on there for places, which I love. He just has to make Aurier work hard and make sure he keeps up that level.”

Spurs Web Opinion:

It’s always a great problem to have when competition runs through the squad. The current situation at right-back will certainly please Mourinho, who will be hoping that Doherty can match the quality that Aurier has shown when given the chance.

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