Tottenham Hotspur has seen plenty of shifting in its backline during the offseason, but it didn’t stop the London-based club from delivering a pair of season-opening wins in the English Premier League.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad followed up last weekend’s 1-0 victory over defending champions Manchester City by posting another 1-0 clean sheet win on Sunday at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Among the impressive performers was right back Japhet Tanganga who continued to shine in a new starting role for the club.
Tanganga posted a Man of the Match worthy outing against Man City, limiting both Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish in the shocking victory for Spurs. Despite Harry Kane not being in the squad for Spurs, Tanganga helped Tottenham frustrate the defending champions in his 83 minutes on the pitch.
He followed that up with a 90-minute outing at Wolves, and although was put under pressure by the talented Adama Traore, did well to help Spurs post another clean sheet in league play.
“All the team did very well but Japhet was huge today,” Santo said about Tanganga following the Man City victory. “He faced too many one-v-ones today against fantastic players and he dealt fantastic with the situation.”
“When they [Tanganga and Oliver Skipp'] started the season, they were in the process of recovering from injury, but they had a good foundation in terms of fitness and physicality,” Santo said about Tanganga and midfielder Skipp, who both started on Sunday. “With the work they did with sports science, I think they were able to keep on growing and we can see they are fit and stronger and faster.”
The 22-year-old has had to watch and wait for his opportunities in London, staying with the first team since his debut in 2019. Tottenham could’ve easily loaned Tanganga out over the past two seasons, but instead kept him with the first team to prepare him for opportunities ahead.