Japhet Tanganga has reached a crossroads in his career with Tottenham Hotspur and Antonio Conte will decide what comes next for the young defender.
The 23-year-old academy producer has been threatening to become a regular Premier League player on a number of occasions, but injury or a decline in level prevented him from taking the next step. Tanganga’s biggest problem is one of its strengths, with its versatility ensuring its versatility Tottenham Managers have used him all over the baseline, in central defense and sometimes on the wings as a full back without any real rhythm or regularity.
However, Tanganga’s most impressive performances came in the biggest matches, not least in last season’s opener when he produced a superb display of the match at right-back as Tottenham beat champions Manchester City 1-0, and the England Under-21 defender was crucial. In the hosts they keep clean sheets.
His boss at the time Nuno Espirito Santo was not a man to rule out single players, but on that day in August he said: “All the team did really well but Javit It was huge today. He faced too many opponents against great players and handled the situation really well.”
Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville, the England international right-back of his era, went further by saying: “He handled Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish on that channel, with Sanchez and Hogberg brilliantly. I couldn’t do that. It was on my own before 20 years old – and I was a good full-back, I played for Manchester United, I played in England, but what this kid did today was really special from a one-on-one defence.
“So I’m going to give the credit to Tanganga today because he did something on that pitch that I thought was really special, which was playing one-on-one, at times, against exceptional players against players, dribbling against players, sticking with him and that’s why he won the title of MVP in the match.”
It’s not the first praise Tanganga has received. After throwing him on his Premier League debut against Liverpool as a 20-year-old in January 2020, Jose Mourinho said: “The kid has reason to be very happy with his level, not with the obvious result, but with his first Premier League game. To be bigger and he did it amazingly.
First on the right, then on the left first [Sadio] mane and then [Mohamed] Salah, and I think he was great, so I don’t want to take any credit for that. I only worked with him for two months. I think the academy and the coaches who worked with him for many years. I think it’s a good moment for him and I think it’s also a message to the kids at the academy that when a player is the right player with the right attitude and the right qualities, the opportunity arises.”
This season, Tanganga, who has a contract with the club until 2025, was the mainstay of the team in the first weeks until a red card in a chaotic match at Crystal Palace began his slip out of the squad under Espirito Santo, including half. Substitution time in the north London derby, defeat at Emirates Stadium.
However, with the arrival county And injuries in defence, Tanganga returned to the squad and under the Italian started nine games among the new managers in his first 16 matches.
Conte paid tribute to both Tanganga and fellow academic producer Oliver Skipp after impressive performances in the 3-0 home win against Crystal Palace as the defender received some form of revenge against the Eagles.
“In our starting lineup there were two young players. Two very young players, Oliver Skipp and Japhet TangangaConti said. “Don’t forget I think he played a really good game as the third center back on the left. I think he did a great job and I’m happy. I’m happy for him because Japhet is a player with a lot of belonging.
“It’s the same for Oliver. For Skip, he plays with me regularly, right? In every game he plays and he’s good. He’s making big improvements and I think he can become a very strong midfielder and a really good midfielder. We have to keep working. We’re talking. About a humble boy, a humble player. Oliver feels a great deal of belonging to play for Tottenham. For Japhet, for Oliver, this is a dream. During the match you can see this.”
Tanganga made some mistakes in upcoming matches as a young defender in an ever-changing line of defense who had yet to find his feet under Conte and was missing out on his major guiding personalities, then came a serious knee injury that ended his season in February.
The young defender eventually underwent surgery on his right knee in March and had to sit the rest of the season frustrated on the sidelines. Currently football. London He understands that the 23-year-old is fully fit again and ready for the upcoming pre-season and Conte’s grueling summer sessions.
He will return to Hotspur Way on Monday, a week before the rest of the non-internationals on the squad, along with Skip and Matt Doherty, as the trio will play after their end-of-season injuries.
Tanganga is expected to get plenty of time in friendlies before next season before Conte makes a decision on what comes next for the young defender.
Tanganga is associated for most of the summer with Italian clubs and has a few Serie A fans looking to either loan him out or loan him out permanently. Conte’s dilemma will be what is best for the club and what is best for the player.
Tanganga’s prowess means he could be a key player in the squad in a season with the Champions League that will bring in plenty of matches and he can cover every position in Conte’s three defense if needed as well as play as an emergency winger with one click. Working under the Italian will also help the player to improve his game.
However, staying here for a few minutes would not be the best long-term move for Tanganga’s development. A turnaround in fellow academy graduate Skip after the loan season at Norwich and week will see the impact it can have for a young player.
The decision that Conte and Tanganga will take together this summer could have a huge impact on the young Tottenham defender’s coming years.
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