Jose Mourinho wants to take credit for the ability of Tottenham Hotspur defender Japhet Tanganga to play as a right-back

Tottenham Hotspur defender Japhet Tanganga continued his rise to the top with another top performance in the FA Cup third-round replay against Middlesbrough last night.

The 20-year-old emerged as the official man of the match after his starring role in the 2-1 victory.


Tanganga’s 96 touches were the most of any player on the pitch, and he also registered one shot, had a pass completion rate of 82%, played one key pass, made two tackles, one clearance and three interceptions.

Spurs’ head coach Jose Mourinho was full of praises for the youngster after the match, and he has claimed he should take credit for his ability to play at right-back.

“I didn’t make him. I think I just help him to reach maybe a different level of knowledge. I think the fact that he can also be a right-back is a little bit more ‘mine’,” Mourinho told talkSPORT.

“But I think credit for him, credit for everybody who work with him and credit to his people, to his entourage, he is one of these kids who is just focused on work, work, work. Being patient, waiting for his right opportunity, when he needed to do extra work with us, he does it. He doesn’t speak much but I knew he would be ready for the challenge.”

Tanganga is primarily a centre-back, and did make his Premier League debut playing at the right of a three-man defence.

He featured at right-back against Boro and his performance could hand Mourinho a selection headache in the position going forward.

Tanganga’s speed means he is fit to play in the role, and his versatility will also come handy.

Could Jose decide to make the Tottenham academy graduate a permanent right-back?

Only time can tell, and it will be interesting to see how he keeps faring as his rise continues.