Should Jose Mourinho fight to keep Juan Foyth, who looks more like heading toward the exit door with every passing week, at Tottenham Hotspur?
Signed in August of 2017, Juan Foyth was highly regarded by former manager Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine gaffer was impressed by the then teenager’s composure and comfortability on the ball. Pochettino was desirous of finding a perfect modern centre back, someone whose ability on the ball resembles a defensive midfielder’s.
There is no question his excellent ability on the ball is his marquee asset. In conjunction with his unflappable demeanour, Foyth takes to his position with the steely nerves of a seasoned veteran. Sometimes his calmness, however, impedes severely his progress. One of the key variables of the world’s best centre backs is there ability to play with urgency, amping up their aggression and adrenaline when required.
Foyth doesn’t seem to have the ability to transform into beast mode. Foyth, who lacks the physical prowess and domineering stature centre backs conventionally have, is at an immediate disadvantage. What Foyth lacks in strength he needs to make up for in positional awareness, footballing intelligence and pace. Unfortunately those attributes aren’t yet prodigious enough to offset his physical fragility.
And if what Jose Mourinho says is true, that he can’t play as an orthodox attacking right back, where does that leave Foyth at Spurs? Behind Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sánchez, Jan Vertonghen and Japhet Tanganga in the centre back pecking order, one can see why Foyth wants out of Hotspur Way. Tottenham are also searching to bolster their centre back crew in the transfer market, more grim news for Foyth.
Foyth can be forgiven for wanting a more influential role. The Argentinian, who turned 22 today, has played a bit part figure since arriving from Estudiantes, and rightly wants more, something he won’t get while Mourinho is in charge. There is merit in trying out Foyth in defensive midfield, but that experiment would take time and an abundance of patience. And there are no guarantees it would bear fruit.
Which leaves Foyth well and truly out in the cold at Tottenham. For both parties concerned, it’s probably best the birthday boy moves on to the next chapter of his career elsewhere. Otherwise he might fade even farther into the background, eventually becoming a mere afterthought.