Ben Davies isn’t the most dynamic fullback in England, but he’s a perfect fit for Jose Mourinho. That’s why his return from injury will really help Spurs.
When you think of the most talented players at Tottenham it would likely take you some time to arrive at Ben Davies name. That doesn’t mean the return of the Welsh international won’t be a big boost for Spurs.
In fact, Davies is an ideal left back to flourish under Jose Mourinho. The Special One doesn’t want his fullbacks to race up and down the pitch like Tottenham’s former boss Mauricio Pochettino. Instead, he wants them to play a relatively conservative role. That philosophy allows Davies to do what he does best.
That’s why Spurs fans should expect to see him in the match day 18 against Aston Villa when the club returns from winter break. He’s already rejoined first team training so he should have ample time to knock the rust off before playing against the Villains. His return to the lineup should allow Mourinho to field a more conventional back four.
The loser upon Davies’ return will likely be Japhet Tanganga. The natural centre back has done a nice job filling in on the left, but his lack of pace does leave Spurs a bit exposed in wide areas. Davies isn’t the quickest player on the pitch either, but his experience and moxie allows him to make up for any lack of foot speed.
There’s also a chance that Davies will slide into a back three as the left-most central defender. That might give Ryan Sessegnon a route into the starting XI as a left wing back. Such a move would likely spell the end of Jan Vertonghen‘s time in North London though. The Belgian veteran’s contract with Spurs expires at the end of the current campaign and there doesn’t seem to be any significant movement in talks between the club and player.
No matter how Davies is deployed, he should help stabilize a Tottenham back line that’s look disorganized during Mourinho’s tenure. Expect for him to play the position much more like a centre back than Serge Aurier will on the right side. The Ivory Coast international will play a high line as a quasi-winger. Davies will hang back to give his central defenders the support they need when Aurier is caught out of possession.
Davies is never going to be a swash buckling fullback that electrifies Tottenham fans, but that’s not what Spurs really need at the moment. The presence of another quality international in the back line can help Mourinho build a defence capable of stifling quality attackers. It might just be enough to get Tottenham the top four finnish they crave so desperately.