Seemingly lost in the sorrow of yet another poor Tottenham Hotspur performance was yet another injury for Spurs defender Japhet Tanganga. With less than 10 minutes to go in the match, Tanganga had his leg caught between the legs of an Aston Villa defender and it resulted in what looked like a serious lower leg injury. For the young Tottenham defender, it is just the latest in a number of setbacks over the last two years.
Tanganga can’t get a consistent run
Over the last two seasons, Japhet Tanganga a 22-year-old defender has been a part of the Tottenham Hotspur first-team set-up. A player who came through the academy as a center-half has been used as a utility defender for the last two seasons, making 24 appearances for the first team.
Those 24 appearances would likely be a lot more if not for a string of injuries that have prevented Tanganga from a consistent run of games. Not once in two seasons has Tanganga played more than three matches in a row, as injuries have been commonplace for the back.
First, was the back problem last season that kept the defender out for an extended period. Although Tanganga officially only missed 5 matches, according to transfermrkt.com, his time away from the team seemed significant.
The injuries have mounted in 2020-21 for Tottenham, Tanganga
Japhet Tanganga started the 2020 season with a thigh injury that kept him out for the first three months of the season. It was late November in Europa League when Tanganga finally made his season debut. Tanganga played for three straight weeks in the group stages, gettings 270 minutes. However, at the end of the Royal Antwerp match, Tanganga strained his shoulder.
That injury ended up costing Tanganga the rest of December, during a time when Tottenham really needed their depth. Officially, Tanganga only missed three matches from that shoulder problem but that took his total to 17 on the season. 17 missed games are four more than he played, which is not the way to garner the experience a young defender needs.
When Tanganga was finally healthy again, he was thrown in the deep end against Manchester City and then played for a half against West Ham. The Spurs lost both matches and Tanganga would go on to miss 9 of the next 11 matches before coming in for Serge Aurier at the weekend.
Now with an opportunity to grab a place in the squad for next season, again Tanganga is unlucky and gets injured again. One now has to begin to wonder if a player who has misted 28 matches over the last two seasons is really a player that you can count on moving forward. As the only ‘young’ player getting any minutes for Tottenham, one hopes so but the record tells us something else.