Tottenham have announced that Kieran Trippier is leaving the club to join Atletico Madrid. This creates an opportunity for those already at the club, as Spurs haven’t signed a right-back during the summer transfer window. Serge Aurier looks to be the favourite to play regularly in the role, while both Juan Foyth and Kyle Walker-Peters will see it as an opportunity for more senior minutes.
The Argentine, Foyth, is the most exciting option for Tottenham following some excellent performances for Argentina at the Copa America. It was thought that the defender was signed as a future starter at centre-back and the majority of his appearances for the club have been in that position. However, he started three of Argentina’s matches at right-back and displayed quality throughout the tournament.
In the Argentine victory over Chile, Foyth showed his ability in and out of possession. During the contest, he made nine-ball recoveries, five clearances and won two aerial duels. His tall frame means that he can dominate in the air in wide positions, while his lack of physicality is less of a problem than it is central areas.
Meanwhile, against Venezuela, he completed 95% of his passes, which highlights how comfortable he is on the ball. Foyth is always looking to offer an option when his team is in possession and he could venture forwards if used in the right-back position. It will take some time to adjust to the role, but his performances for his national team clearly show that he has potential as a full-back.
Since taking over as Tottenham manager, Pochettino has regularly rotated his full-backs. This is due to the style of play he uses. The physical demands are huge and he can’t rely on two players to play every match. Aurier may be his preferred choice in the big matches, but the Argentine coach needs to have a rotational option. In Foyth, he has a player that he can be coached to do well in the right-back role, even if he isn’t an immediate success.
Last season, Foyth started ten matches and showed potential in a lot of those appearances, but there are areas he needs to improve on before cementing a regular starting berth. At times, he can be rash, as displayed by his debut performance against Wolves, in which, he conceded two penalties. His disciplinary record needs to be improved. He was sent off last season, while in the Copa America, he received three yellow cards in four matches.
At the age of 21, Foyth is clearly a player with a huge future ahead of him. This is proven by Tottenham’s decision to sign him and his role in the Argentina team. Pochettino is the right coach to get the best out of him, as he has shown how he can develop players from a young age. It has been a hallmark of his time as Tottenham manager. His recent success with Argentina and Tottenham’s sale of Trippier come at a convenient time, as there is now an opportunity to gain more minutes for the club.
It is a risk, but Foyth has the ability to succeed as a starting right-back for Tottenham. If Pochettino commits to it, the decision could save the club millions as a Trippier replacement wouldn’t be required.