Japhet Tanganga has proven to be something of a revelation for Tottenham Hotspur in recent weeks. Jose Mourinho has turned to the young defender in his time of need, with doubts over the future and form of Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen.
His form looks set to be rewarded with a new contract at Tottenham. As reported by the Evening Standard, the 20-year-old is in line to receive a new £15,000-a-week deal at Spurs with his current deal expiring in the summer of 2021.
Tanganga certainly fits the bill of a Mourinho player, capable of playing in a number of positions. Happy at right-back, left-back or his most favoured centre-back role, it appears that Mourinho once again has a William Gallas type in his ranks.
Gallas and Mourinho did not part on good terms when he left Stamford Bridge. He was swapped for Arsenal’s Ashley Cole in 2006 after his number 13 shirt was given to Michael Ballack. It was an ugly affair, as documented by the BBC, which saw Gallas accused of threatening to score own goals unless sold.
Gallas, of course, went on to join Tottenham in controversial fashion from their North London rivals, spending three seasons with the club from 2010.
Before that, the Frenchman was a key member of Mourinho’s team. Always ready to fill in any of the defensive positions, he was a player Mourinho later admitted he missed in an interview with Sky Sports.
“Every team misses very good players. In Ashley Cole we have a fantastic player who is improving and improving. He plays at the highest level.
“I could say that we don’t miss Gallas because we’re performing, but I respect the quality of the player and his contribution to Chelsea’s success over the last two years.
“You always miss good players and he is a good player.”
Tanganga is similar in playing style. Fast, strong, comfortable with both feet but, most importantly, versatile.
Gallas ended up being more important to Mourinho than he first thought. Now, 14 years later with Tanganga, the Portuguese has a younger version. Undoubtedly, he could go on to become a key member of the Tottenham first-team.