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Nuno's South American dilemma could see Tanganga star at centre-back for Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur’s Japhet Tanganga has shone so far this season.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s defensive line has had the academy man featuring at right-back, despite being a natural centre-back.

The majority of his – so far short – career has seen him feature over 80 times in central defence, yet only 14 times as a right-back (Transfermarkt).

This season the 22-year-old has been the Lilywhites’ number one right-back, although that could soon change.

Nuno Espirito Santo has a serious headache ahead of Tottenham’s trip to Crystal Palace.

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Both Davinson Sanchez, who has started every game so far, and Christian Romero, the new £42.5m central defender (BBC), are out as they complete a 10-day training camp in Croatia following their international escapades.

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That leaves Nuno with very few options at centre-back.

Just Tanganga, Eric Dier and Joe Rodon will be available from those in the senior squad.

Rodon is yet to feature for the club this season, while Tanganga has only played at full-back.

Dier is nailed on to start, having played every minute for the club in the Premier League so far.

One solution could be to bring new signing Emerson Royal in at right-back while switching Tanganga to the middle.

This would ensure the new Spurs man gets his debut and help him settle into the side, while allowing Tanganga a pathway to becoming one of Tottenham’s recognised centre-backs.

When Romero and Sanchez do return to contention you’d imagine they will be the first choice options in rotation with Dier.

Yet if Tanganga does star against Palace he could find himself given a starting berth at centre-back in Europe and the domestic cups.

It would be tough on Rodon given he is yet to play for the club this season. But it’s impossible to argue that Tanganga doesn’t deserve a chance given his displays so far.

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