Jose could unearth Vertonghen 2.0 in “aggressive” Spurs gem who will “only get better” – opinion

Tottenham Hotspur U23 captain TJ Eyoma is enjoying quite the season for League One front runners Lincoln City.

The 21-year-old signed a new three-year contract in the summer before rejoining the Imps on loan for the entire campaign, and his contributions have helped steer Michael Appleton’s men to top spot, where they not only hold a three-point lead but also have a game in hand.

And the Spurs starlet has played a crucial part of that, starting 24 of their 26 league outings, which ranks him fourth for minutes played this term as per WhoScored.

Given Jose Mourinho’s defensive problems right now, might Eyoma have a clear shot at entering the senior fold this summer?

After featuring in Spurs’ pre-season tour in summer 2018 in games against AC Milan and Girona, he would later be handed his senior debut by Mauricio Pochettino in the FA Cup that season.

Although he’s yet to pick up another first-team appearance, it’s clear to see that he has a bright future ahead, especially considering he was part of that England U17 World Cup-winning squad, alongside the likes of Phil Foden, Emile Smith Rowe and Jadon Sancho, who have all become integral players at their respective clubs.

Spurs’ faith in Eyoma has been shown by the three-year extension handed to him in the summer, and if he keeps it up with the Imps, he will be well worth a look.

If things go to plan, Mourinho could unearth Tottenham’s next Jan Vertonghen, who early in his Premier League career was equally adept at playing full-back and centrally – just like Eyoma.

The young U23 gem has primarily been deployed as a right-back under Appleton, but for the Spurs youth set-up, he’s played at centre-back 44 times as per Transfermarkt.

Eyoma appears to be better suited to the middle too as he’s not afraid to put in the hard graft off the ball having averaged 1.9 tackles per 90 minutes at a completion rate of 84% as well as managing 1.2 interceptions per 90, via WhoScored.

Speaking about his loan star earlier this season, Appleton said: “He’s got great athleticism,” before adding: “He’ll only get better. He’s a pretty quiet character around the place, but he’s one I feel is reliable. He can play a number of positions, and he just comes in and gets on with his job.”

These are all valuable minutes that someone like Japhet Tanganga isn’t getting, so come the summer, Eyoma should be given a shot under Mourinho.

The “very strong and aggressive athlete” could be a valuable and cheap asset for Spurs in the long run. They do need that ‘transformative’ central defender, but in Eyoma, Levy could save millions.

AND in other news, £27m-rated Spurs star endures rare nightmare in FA Cup defeat

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