Japhet Tanganga – Tottenham Hotspur
Standing at 6ft, Japhet Tanganga is a central defender who joined Tottenham Hotspur’s academy at the age of 10 in 2009.
The central defender made appearances in various youth competitions from 2015 to 2017. During the 2017/18 season, Tanganga made 7 appearances in the UEFA Youth League, scoring 2 goals whilst also providing an assist.
Spurs won their group, and they went on to make it all the way to the quarter-finals where they unfortunately lost 2-0 to Portuguese giants Porto. Tanganga and Tottenham finished 9th in the Premier League 2 Division One (top flight of youth football). The defender made 15 appearances, scoring a goal with an assist to boot.
In 2017, Tanganga played for England in the Toulon tournament (international youth football competition), helping his country retain the title.
Tanganga remained in the Tottenham Hotspur U23 side the following season (2018/19), making 15 appearances in the Premier League 2 Division One and helping his team to another 9th place finish.
The central defender finally got a taste of first team football for Spurs in the 2019/20 season, making his debut in the third round of the league cup against Colchester United, losing on penalties.
Tanganga then made his Premier League debut against Liverpool, and despite his team losing, he impressed all those watching with his performance.
Including the Premier League 2 Division One, Tanganga made 13 appearances in all competitions overall in the 2019/20 season, with 11 of those coming in the Premier League, Champions League and the EFL Cup.
Perhaps his most significant contribution over the course of this season was in a Premier League match against Manchester City, where he played the full 90 minutes in a fantastic 2-0 victory in February 2020. Tottenham finished 6th that season with 59 points, qualifying for the Europa League.
Following the conclusion of the 2019/20 season, Tanganga was called up to the England U21 squad but had to withdraw due to injury. Thankfully, he finally made his debut for the U21 national side against Portugal in March 2021.
Tanganga made 13 senior appearances over the course of the 2020/21 campaign. He was part of the squad that made it to the final of the EFL Cup, the round of 16 in the Europa League, whilst also finishing 7th in The league, qualifying for the Europa Conference League.
The central defender was more of a regular player in the starting eleven last season (2021/22), making 19 appearances in all competitions with 11 of those coming in the Premier League. He was a member of the defence that helped Spurs to three successive wins to start the season against Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford (all 1-0 wins).
Tottenham Hotspur went on to finish in 4th place last season, 2 points above arch rivals Arsenal.
So far this season (2022/23), Japhet Tanganga has made 5 appearances in all competitions.