Tottenham Hotspur defender Japhet Tanganga is hoping to make the England’s squad for the European Championship next year following the postponement of the tournament due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The 21-year-old has forced his way into boss Jose Mourinho’s first-team plans during the second-half of the season, and has featured in 11 games across all competitions since making his Premier League debut against Liverpool in January.
Tanganga’s versatility in defence has boosted his Tottenham chances, and he is hoping it can help him force his way into Gareth Southgate’s star-studded Three Lions squad ahead of the Euros.
“All I can do is what I can on the pitch and leave it with the England manager to select me,” the Spurs defender told the Evening Standard.
“All I’m doing at the moment is following the guidelines and waiting for the government to decide when we can go back to football or not. Right now, that’s all I’m focusing on. In life you have to have ambitions and one of my goals is to get capped at senior level for England.
“Fikayo has done that and now I’m in a similar position. I see it as an opportunity and an example to follow and hopefully one day I can get capped and achieve one of my goals.”
Tanganga featured at right-back against Liverpool but has played at left-back and centre-back, putting in impressive shifts in each of the positions.
England lack quality depth at the back and could do with the versatile Tottenham man in their squad.
He can play in a back-three, and his speed means he is also capable of being excellent as a wing-back.
Southgate knows Tanganga well from his days in the age-grade national teams, and he would have taken note of his brilliant performances for Spurs since January.
It remains to be seen when action will resume, but the youngster has a lot of work to do between that time and the end of next season if he is to make England’s Euros squad, and it will be interesting to see how he fares.