Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that he may not risk defender Japhet Tanganga for the rest of the season, as he nears a return from a back injury.
The 21-year-old academy product has been sidelined since the Premier League restart and has been unable too featuer as a result of his injury problem.
He is a highly-rated centre-back that has shown his versatility by playing a number of defensive positions this season, which has seen him promoted as a full part of the senior group.
With six games still remaining in the league season, the Portuguese manager has indicated he may leave out the English enforcer despite the fact he is due to be back in training next week.
The North London club finish away to Crystal Palace on 26 July and are in a real fight to try secure a European position.
“Japhet Tanganga we believe training with the team next week,” Mourinho told Football.London.
“Too long without playing and an important injury. I don’t think so,” Mourinho responded to the question of whether Tanganga could play before the end of the season.
“Eventually last match, two weeks to work and be available for the last match, maybe. But to play safe, young guy with a very important injury, probably the best thing for him is to be back for next season.’
TBR’s View – Can Tanganga play key role next season?
Tanganga can be pleased with his breakthrough into the senior group this season and it certainly makes sense not to risk aggravating a back injury during a quick turnaround of fixtures this month.
There are enough options at the back to cope without him, which should give him the time to get fully fit and begin to turn his attention on nailing down a spot in the team next season.
He’s a youngster with a lot of potential due to his raw pace and power, but there are clearly still defensive areas of his game that need sharpening and that should come working under Mourinho.
Tanganga looks like he will be in contention to start next season, especially as Jan Vertonghen’s contract expires at the end of the month.