Tottenham wisely go with Japhet Tanganga and Alfie Devine

Tottenham (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Tottenham (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images) /

Tottenham have a continued commitment toward strengthening youth

As the shortened off-season continues for Tottenham and clubs all across Europe are working to set themselves up for next season and beyond. Having already re-signed Skipp and Dier to contract extensions, Spurs continued that with Japhet Tanganga re-upping and had their first new signing of the offseason in Alfie Devine from Wigan.

Japhet Tanganga was first really noticed during the pre-season as he marked Ronaldo during the Tottenham Hotspur victory over Juventus in the Audi Cup. In a moment that is sure to become club legend one day – and may even just be a legend now – in one of his first training sessions with his new side Jose Mourinho is believed to have said, “He marked Cristiano Ronaldo, make him known” to someone in the group during the session.

I cannot fully make out what Jose has said there, and I am not going to try and pretend to read lips, but maybe what Jose was saying is he was going to make him known. After the turn of the new year, Mourinho did more than talk about people knowing Tanganga he did something about it. The young defender featured 11 times across three competitions for Spurs, playing the full 90 on all but one occasion, logging nearly 1,000 minutes of first-team action.

The 21-year old, who just re-signed until 20205 with the club, played 4 different positions across those 11 matches, demonstrating an ability to play as a fullback, wingback, center-half, and even outside midfield. He proved quite effective on both flanks, as Spurs had to find an understudy for Ben Davies after Danny Rose went out on loan.

Unfortunately, a back injury in training kept the young defender out of action after the restart, he was on the bench for the last four matches of the year, demonstrating Jose still has Tanganga in his plans moving forward. With such versatility, Tanganga provides a great option in a defensive unit that is currently a bit lopsided.

With the additional games from Europa League as well as three other competitions, expect Japhet Tanganga to be a big part of the squad in terms of rotation and move in and out of the starting XI as different players are injured or need rest in the back next season. After next season, whether Tanganga is a fixture in the starting XI is up to him.

While Tanganga is clearly going to play a major role for Tottenham in the next season to come, the same is likely not true for new signing Alfie Devine, who reported his own signing via Instagram.

Devine is a former Liverpool youth who has spent the last three seasons at Wigan. Devine presumably caught the eye of Spurs scouts with his play during the FA Youth Cup, where he played 98 minutes across three matches. While that doesn’t seem like a lot of time, it should be remembered this kid is just 15 years old, and the FA Youth Cup is a U-18 competition, which gives us some idea of his potential.

Alfie will join 10 other U-16 ‘graduates’ who will be first-year Under-18 players for Spurs according to the Tottenham Hotspur website. It will be interesting to see if this box-to-box ball of energy can make a name for himself with the U-18 side this season.

Both signings, Devine and Tanganga are positive signs for the club, as Tottenham Hotspur looks to continue to build the academy and move the first team forward with some youth. What do you think about these signings, thumbs up or thumbs down?