Radu Dragusin's big Tottenham moment vs Man City and the dilemma coming Ange Postecoglou's way

Radu Dragusin delivered a top performance in Tottenham's 2-0 defeat against Man City
Radu Dragusin delivered a top performance in Tottenham's 2-0 defeat against Man City -Credit:Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Radu Dragusin very much demonstrated in Tottenham's 2-0 defeat to Man City why he can be a big player in Ange Postecoglou's future plans. Making a real name for himself in Italy with Genoa and coming to the attention of a number of clubs, Spurs pipped Bayern Munich to the signature of the Romanian international in January.

Brought in to provide defensive cover and really push Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven for their starting spots, game time has been few and far between for the 22-year-old in the four months since his transfer to N17. That was always likely to be the case with the two centre-backs ahead of him in the pecking order forming such a strong partnership at the heart of Tottenham's defence.

Prior to Tuesday evening's loss at home to Man City, Dragusin had made seven appearances for Tottenham, with five of those coming from the bench. His previous outing had come in the final 15 minutes of last Saturday's 2-1 win at Burnley as he replaced makeshift left-back Oliver Skipp at a time when the Lilywhites were looking for a winner.

Perhaps looking like a defensive substitution on paper, in reality it was an attacking one as it resulted in Van de Ven moving across to left-back and the Dutchman scoring the winner with a rather impressive finish. Keeping faith with Van de Ven on the left despite Postecoglou revealing his concerns about the youngster playing there due to his previous injury issues, it meant that Dragusin came in for a rare starting against Man City.

A huge moment for the Bucharest-born player and the very reason he came to the Premier League to play against the very best, Dragusin was one of Tottenham's best performers on the evening. Going to be some challenge for the player with City boasting an attack of Erling Haaland, Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, the Spurs centre-back fared exceptionally well and frustrated Man City's attack multiple times.

Dragusin contributed with a big moment 19 minutes into the contest as he sent Haaland to the deck with a sublime challenge on the edge of the box. The Norwegian looked set to get the better of Van de Ven but his teammate ensured there was no way past for the Premier League's top goalscorer as he came from behind to get a crucial foot to the ball.

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Dragusin again frustrated Haaland in the first half with a big header to stop the ex-Borussia Dortmund man running clean through on goal after running off the back of Cristian Romero. His biggest moment to date in a Tottenham shirt came on the cusp of half-time as he somehow stopped Silva from opening the scoring.

Although the flag did go up and the Portuguese's strike wouldn't have counted if it had gone in, Dragusin was in the right position three yards from goal to head Silva's effort wide of the target.

The City ace looked a certainty to net as the ball fell kindly to him in a central position ten yards out but Tottenham's No.6 ensured there was no way past him with a stunning header. It was one he took great joy in as he celebrated like he had scored himself, with goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario going on to give him a shove on the back and a round of applause for his contribution as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg came in to hug the defender.

After limited football in a Tottenham shirt following his January switch from Genoa, it was a moment the player needed as he bids to become a Spurs regular in the future. Getting the better of De Bruyne early on in the second half with a strong challenge, Dragusin continued to perform well in the remaining 45 minutes but it was the visitors who prevailed courtesy of Haaland's second-half double.

In his 90 minutes of action, Dragusin contributed with seven successful duels from a possible nine, he won two of his four tackles, made six recoveries, seven defensive actions and two interceptions. He was also accurate with 67 of his 77 passes and successful with two of his four long balls.

Quite whether Dragusin remains in the Tottenham XI to take on Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon remains to be seen, with it all likely to hinge on whether Postecoglou chooses to keep Van de Ven at left-back or moving him back across to his usual centre-back berth. The player has certainly made a very strong case to start again after delivering an excellent showing against the Premier League leaders.

Regular game time has been hard to come by for Dragusin since his move to the club but there should be more chances for him in the XI next season. Tottenham only need one point from their final match of the season to qualify for the Europa League and there will also be opportunities in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

Week in, week out in the Premier League is where Dragusin wants to be playing, though. Breaking up the partnership of Romero and Van de Ven is going to be incredibly tricky but Dragusin displayed to everyone against Man City that he can be a real force for Tottenham in the Premier League in the years ahead.

Postecoglou could have quite the dilemma on his hands next season when it comes to naming his Tottenham backline.

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