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Tottenham release forgotten player Jose Mourinho saw as the future of the club

Japhet Tanganga
-Credit: (Image: 2024 MB Media)


Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the exit of a player Jose Mourinho believed was destined for a bright future at the club.

Indeed, Spurs confirmed their released and retained list on Wednesday and among those heading for the exit doors is defender Japhet Tanganga.

The 25-year-old joined the club at the age of ten and made his debut for the Lilywhites during a EFL Cup clash with Colchester United in September 2019. Further opportunities came his way during the 2019/20 season, with a Premier League debut against Liverpool in January 2020.

Tanganga would go on to make 11 first-team appearances during his breakthrough season and was predicted to be a key player for "many years" in North London by Mourinho.

"Tanganga's already in the dressing room, with Skipp," said the Portuguese coach. "Both are fantastic kids - both kids in which we believe a lot. The difference is with Japhet that the big opportunity appeared. With Skipp that has not happened yet - the big opportunity to start matches and play many minutes.

"But both are in the first-team dressing room. And our objective - what we are working on - is to make them Tottenham players for many years."

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Tanganga was sent on loan to German club Augsburg at the start of last season, though returned to the English capital after failing to make a single appearance. He then spent the second half of the campaign at Millwall, where he quickly became a fan-favourite due to his battling performances.

Millwall manager Neil Harris made no secret of his desire for the versatile defender to return to The Den, recently making clear the Lions were doing all in their power to get a permanent deal done.

“It’s really important that everybody understands, not just Neil Harris and his team-mates, but the whole football club is a big fan of Japhet Tanganga," said Harris.

“I think I have made that clear in previous articles – I would love to work with him. Japhet is a player who will be in demand over this transfer window. As a football club, sometimes, we can only push as far when we go through a process which is involving individuals, agents and football clubs.

“It’s safe to say that we have pushed hard to see if Japhet is a possibility for us in this window. Where I am hugely respectful as well is that there is a lot that goes into signing a player, it’s not just involving money between clubs and agents, it becomes a lot of different scenarios.

“Family becomes a huge one. When players have options to maybe be abroad, they have to speak to them as well. There are moments in players’ careers which are hugely pivotal. We’re massively respectful at the early part of June, not just with Japh, but with other players as well – things have to be aligned. Of course we like Japhet, but there are lots of aspects that go into signing a player.”