Spurs Squad News: Backup Players’ Time to Shine

The Spurs squad’s first team has come to be defined by a few key players and attributes so far this season. The ascendant form of Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela. The goal scoring ability of Harry Kane. The immovable object of Toby Alderweireld. The consistent supporting play of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.

With a large chunk of the Spurs first team making it to the latter stages of the World Cup during the summer, the focus has been on the talismans of the team, and with good reason.

But with a hectic recent schedule with games across three tournaments and a spate of injury woes in the opening weeks of the season, Pochettino has been forced to rotate the squad to give much needed recovery time. With these necessary changes, it has given a number of opportunities to players who might have otherwise not seen the spotlight and produced some unexpected standout performances.
Here’s our roundup of the members of the Spurs squad that have impressed us recently.

Juan Foyth

The 20-year old Argentinian has struggled for game time so far this season, but when he has he’s impressed. His best performance so far has been in the Carabao Cup match against West Ham that saw him earn the eToro Man of the Match accolade, as well as comparisons to the Spurs legend Ledley King.


He was also commended for his partnership with Davinson Sanchez, and with him getting more and more first team starts this season, we could well see him getting more game time alongside him. Regardless of this, he is still only 20 years old, and with this much promise coupled with regular training alongside players like Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Sanchez, he could well become a fixture in the Spurs team for a long time yet.

Paulo Gazzaniga

The life of a third choice goalkeeper is rarely a glamorous one, but Paolo Gazzaniga has been managing in style this season. With World Cup fatigue and injury affecting Hugo Lloris, Gazzaniga and second choice goalkeeper Michel Vorm have been seeing more game time than average.

Gazzaniga inparticular deserves special mention, with two sterling performances with the Spurs squad in the Carabao Cup; he may well be on the way to supplanting Vorm as Poch’s go-to backup man. Who is on the bench for their upcoming Premier League fixtures against Wolves and Crystal Palace, as well as who starts for their recently announced Carabao Cup draw against Arsenal in December will be very telling as to how to the positions may shift.

Oliver Skipp

Despite still being in his teens, the Spurs academy wonder kid has been making waves this season. He’s been making regular appearances in the Premier League 2, earning the league’s Player of the Month award back in September, and made his senior debut in the US pre-season tour. Since then, he has made bench appearance in matches against Cardiff and Barcelona and saw his first-team debut in the squads 3-1 victory over West Ham in the Carabao Cup.

In a team full of hungry young players, Skipp will have to pay his dues to find regular game time, but with both Winks and Kane finding success in the Pochettino system as products of the Spurs academy, the future looks bright for Oliver Skipp.

Fernando Llorente

Llorente has arguably struggled to find a space in the Spurs squad since joining back in 2017, despite his impressive CV in teams such as Sevilla, Juventus and the Spanish national squad. With a solid crop of goal scoring talent in Kane, Moura, Lamela and Son in recent years, El Rey León hasn’t been able to spread his wings.

However, at 33 he is noticeably older than the other Spurs squad forwards and can provide a wealth of experience to the young squad, and it’s never bad to have a solid backup man in the event of an injury. As well as this, if the increasingly important role of Lamela and Moura is anything to go by this season, Llorente could be in with a chance of more regular game time yet if he finds his form.

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