Opinion: Analysing the good and bad of Pedro Porro at Spurs – What does he need to improve?

Tottenham have seemingly revamped their defensive play style under Ange Postecoglou’s watchful eye. The new tactics, which employ Destiny Udogie and Pedro Porro to invert and combine with the midfield play, has done wonders when carrying the ball forward.

In his first season playing in a Spurs shirt, Udogie has amassed five goal contributions from left-back (Transfermarkt); And at just 21-years-old, those numbers are quite impressive. Yet again, they’re not all that surprising, considering that Udogie was able to net 15 goal contributions in roughly three times as many matches with Serie A-side Udinese.

Pedro Porro, who first joined Tottenham on loan in the winter of 2023, has also found his way in the final third (Transfermarkt). While Udogie’s 15 G/A’s for Udinese were collected across 71 matches, Porro has reached that same figure in just 44 games with Spurs, netting four goals and 11 assists (Transfermarkt).

However, Porro’s offensive stats – and even his defensive ones, as we will soon see – are perhaps somewhat misleading. On the other side of the pitch, the Spanish footballer arguably has yet to really find his footing.

Pedro Porro
Credit: Ollie Watkins (@watkinsstudio)

Pedro Porro positives

Firstly, let’s start with a touch of optimism. It’s true that, in the grand scheme of defensive numbers, Porro ranks relatively well by multiple measures.

When it comes to tackles won, a stat which looks at whether or not the tackling player’s team won possession after the tackle was made, Porro ranks fourth amongst all Premier League defenders (FBREF). That puts him ahead of players like Virgil van Dijk, Declan Rice, Kieran Trippier, and even Spurs vice-captain Cristian Romero.

Porro then ranks second in dribblers tackled, a stat which means exactly what it sounds like (FBREF).

It doesn’t end there, though, as the right-back also ranks fourth in blocks, which measures the sheer number of times in which he has blocked the path of either a shot or pass (FBREF).

Yes, Porro is by no means a poor defender, and he’s clearly shown up in moments when Tottenham have needed him. However, a closer look at the rest of his stats seems to indicate that there’s plenty of room for improvement.

The bad side of Pedro Porro

Let’s start by looking at tackle percentage, a metric which indicates how often a dribbler is successfully tackled when a defender makes a challenge.

For Porro, who has made 47 tackles across 92 challenges/attempts, his percentage is startlingly low at just 51.1%, placing him 91st amongst the league’s defenders (FBREF). Essentially, when he goes in for a challenge, there’s roughly a 50% chance that he’s going to make the tackle.

Unfortunately, the Spanish footballer falls well short of what should be expected at a club like Tottenham, where the new manager and the fanbase have seemingly set their sights on competing with Europe’s best and brightest.

What’s next for Pedro Porro at Tottenham?

It suffices to say that Pedro Porro is still in the infancy of his Tottenham career. His presence is especially fresh if we’re talking about his experience working with Ange Postecoglou and his unique tactical set-up.

In many regards, the former Sporting defender has done well to fulfil the duties bestowed upon him.

His defensive game, though lacklustre overall, has been pronounced in the attacking third, where his 14 tackles put him amongst the top three defenders for such a metric in that area of the pitch (FBREF).

Nevertheless, there’s ample room to grow, and if Tottenham want to improve their defence to the calibre of teams like Arsenal and Manchester City – whose “challenges lost” statistics are the lowest in the league – the effort will have to start with players like Porro.

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