Prior to Danny Rose the Ben Davies combo, the left back situation at Tottenham was a bit of a mess and always chopping and changing.
Kyle Naughton (RB) and Vertonghen (CB) covered the LB position a total of 31 and 26 times respectively from joining up until 14/15. Jan then went on to cover this a few times in recent seasons too.
Since 2000, numerous players have been brought in to play in the position. Some didn’t work out, and others were left to age on the sideline.
- Ben Thatcher – bought £6.7m (2000), out £0.45 (‘03).
- Christian Ziege – bought £5.85 (‘01), free out (‘04).
- Erik Edman – bought £1.8m (‘04), out £2.7m (‘05).
- Timothee Atouba – bought £4m (‘04), out £2.25 (‘05).
- Lee Young-Pyo – bought £1.8m (‘05), out £0.45m (‘08).
- Benoit Assou-Ekotto – bought £4.5m (‘06), free out (‘15)
- Zeki Fryers – in £3.15m (‘13), out £3.42m (‘14)
- Gilberto* – bought £2.5m (‘08), free out (‘09)
This amounts to £21m loss on all the above players from the LB position. Terrible business and crap recruitment.
Ben Davies arrived in July 2014 for a fee of £11m. For most of his Spurs career, he’s been in direct competition with Danny Rose. 14/15 and 15/16 saw Rose make more appearances, however Davies made more appearances than Rose in each of the last three full seasons.
Davies arrival led to a solid 1st and backup pairing, much like the other side of the pitch. After finally having established stability for the LB position, surely you’d want to keep it that way? With Rose’s decline, we have been left with essentially one LB.
ROSE IS A NO-GO
Whatever your opinion of Rose, the facts are: he is now 30, he is consistently injured (384 days injury absence since 14/15), and his performances have noticeably dropped. Rose and the club also do not appear to have a great relationship.
If Davies gets a significant injury, Spurs are going to struggle for options to cover. Do not tell me Ryan Sessegnon is a LB. He is not and placing him there will not be great for his confidence.
TANGANGA IS THE ANSWER TO A DIFFERENT QUESTION
I also have reservations about Japhet’s ability to cover here too, he was better on the right side and is naturally best as a CB. We also have the option of Dennis Cirkin, but again I don’t know how well an 18-year-old would cope.
The point is we shouldn’t have to find out, but with Mourinho dropping both Cirkin’s and Harvey White’s names into first team discussions, it seems that once again the LB will get overlooked. It’s been 6 years since Davies arrived, what’s another six?
*Client Reference Number Warning if you say Gilberto’s name 3 times, he shows up at your house the following weekend. Or at someone else’s house, randomly. Terms and conditions do not apply.