Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho hails Japhet Tanganga after impressive Premier League debut

Japhet Tanganga

Jose Mourinho has praised Japhet Tanganga after the 20-year-old's impressive display against Liverpool on Saturday.

Tanganga was handed his Premier League debut in the 1-0 defeat by Jurgen Klopp's Premier League champions-elect.

The youngster performed well for most of Saturday's clash and made an excellent clearance to deny Roberto Firmino early on.

And Mourinho dismissed talk of the January transfer window in his post-match press conference, instead choosing to hail the young defender's display.

"The last thing I want to do after this performance is to speak about [buying new] players,” he told reporters.

“I think it is a way to show respect to these guys, not to speak about new players.

“Can we say Tanganga is a new player? He had never played a match for Tottenham (opens in new tab) in the Premier League. Today he played and today he proved that he can play for us.

“It’s a pity that he’s not a striker! It’s a pity that he’s not a midfield player, but he is one more player that we have. “I think [Sadio] Mane and [Mohamed] Salah, they know who Tanganga is [now]. They didn’t know before the game.

“I think when they saw the list [of players], they thought, ‘Oh, what position does this guy play?’ 

“I think now they know. The kid was really good. So instead of speaking about, crying about Harry Kane and Sissoko and Lloris and Ben Davies, let’s smile with Tanganga.”

The Tottenham academy product revealed that Mourinho asked him if he wanted to play against Liverpool (opens in new tab) four days before the game.

Tanganga will hope to keep his place in the starting XI against Watford (opens in new tab) next Saturday, when Spurs will look to close the nine-point gap separating them from Chelsea (opens in new tab) in fourth place.

The 20-year-old could also feature in Tuesday's FA Cup third-round replay against Middlesbrough on Tuesday.


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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).