Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino deployed the formation with five (or three depending on how some people look at it) at the back against Fulham last Saturday for the first time in a long time.
This was a way of getting three of his best players in Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Dávinson Sánchez, on the field at the same time. If the manager is to opt to use this formation in the future, it bodes very well for 20-year-old Juan Foyth.
Foyth (valued at £4.5m on Transfermarkt.co.uk) joined last season from Argentinian club Estudiantes, but failed to make an instant impact and struggled for game time. But with the news that Cameron-Carter Vickers is expected to go out on loan this season, that leaves Foyth as the only remaining centre-back option after the regular three defenders.
Although the Argentinian is carrying an injury at the moment, it shows the faith that Pochettino has in him, and where he sits in the manager’s plans. Tottenham are a club that will want to be competing on all fronts, meaning the 20-year-old may even feature in the Champions League this season.
Admittedly, if there was an injury to one of Alderweireld, Vertonghen or Sánchez, the manager would likely revert back to playing with four at the back. Also, Eric Dier is always an option to drop back into the centre-back position.
Nonetheless, while Foyth may not be in the forefront of Pochettino’s plans, he can still hope for a promising season. Otherwise, The Lilywhites’ boss would simply loan his young defender out if he didn’t think he had a role in north London this season. After all, this was a player that was hotly pursued by PSG as well, so to those that are unaware of him, he obviously has potential.
After Tottenham failed to add to their squad, it is the players on the periphery that will become the most important in the coming season, as Pochettino will hope to blood them into the first team. This may be the year for Foyth.