Football journalist Julien Laurens has hinted that he has concerns over whether Jose Mourinho is the right manager to turn Tottenham youngster Japhet Tanganga into a top-class player.
The 20-year-old made his Premier League debut at the weekend against Liverpool and was a starter once again in Spurs’ FA Cup replay against Middlesbrough, in which he was named as the man of the match.
Offering his thoughts on the talent to ESPN FC after Tuesday’s game, Laurens felt that the defender has promising potential, but revealed that he was unsure if his manager will bring the best out of him.
He said: “I interviewed him after the Liverpool game and he spoke well, feet on the ground, looked like he was a clever kid. Tonight was a different story against Middlesbrough, but certainly on Saturday he looked like a decent player with quite good potential and if Mourinho can make him grow, which I’m not sure about, he looks like a very talented player.”
Is Jose Mourinho winning you over at Tottenham?
It seems clear that Tanganga has something about him which suggests he could be a Premier League player of the future for Spurs, given Mauricio Pochettino had rewarded the defender with his first-team debut in September while Mourinho entrusted him with a role against league leaders Liverpool, of all teams.
Laurens did not elaborate on why Tanganga may not be able to grow as much as Spurs would hope under Mourinho, although it appeared as if it was a question of his manager’s development techniques rather than a concern over Tanganga’s growth as a footballer.
The initial signs certainly seem promising, especially with Tanganga potentially emerging as Spurs’ best option at right-back – with Mourinho giving the youngster another chance to impress on Tuesday instead of rotating the squad by playing Kyle Walker-Peters, who has been linked with a move away.
One would imagine that if Tanganga was to be given an extended run in the Spurs team, it would fall firmly within Mourinho’s remit to develop him into a top-class defender. Tottenham’s next few games should give us a better idea of whether that will come to fruition or if he will turn to the tried-and-tested Serge Aurier, though it seems Mourinho would have to prove Laurens wrong for Tanganga to become a success.
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