Tottenham Hotspur under Mauricio Pochettino has become one of the finer attacking sides in Europe. In his swashbuckling football side, what has perhaps failed to be noted is the fact that his defensive unit is equally good. Spurs have a good collection of centre backs that have helped the club maintain solidarity at the back.
First comes Toby Alderweireld. Since making his move from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2015, he has gone on to become one of the top performers in the club. His ability to read the opposition’s game allows him to defend neatly without making unnecessary tackles makes him a classy defender. The stats clearly show his smart game with Alderweireld averaging just 0.3 fouls per 90 minutes, a sublime figure when you put it in comparison with the likes of Barcelona’s Gerard Pique and AC Milan’s Leonardo Bonucci who average at 0.88 and 0.93 fouls every 90 minutes.
The highly-intelligent Belgian committed only 9 fouls in 30 Premier League games last season, an astounding fact given that Chelsea ace David Luiz who enjoyed his best season at West London committed 29 fouls in the same time. His game on the ball also is highly efficient and his ability to distribute the ball and rotate it makes him a top defender.
Alongside, Alderweireld there is Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez. Vertonghen has been one of Tottenham’s most consistent performers for the last few years and has held the armband on multiple occasions. He is adept at playing left back as well and is good on the ball. Their summer signing Davinson Sanchez is another exceptional talent and the young centre-back has brilliantly adjusted to the pace of the English league. They also have makeshift cover in the form of Eric Dier who is just as good at centre back.
Hence the recalling of Cameron Carter-Vickers despite the presence of such good defenders in the team is a mystery for everyone. The young 20-year-old Englishman has been impressive in the Championships this season and has made 17 starts for Sheffield United. The Blades are in a playoff spot and Carter-Vickers has been instrumental in their success.
The only possible reason for this could be the injury problems at Tottenham with Alderweireld still out from his injury last year and Pochettino fearing that he might be overtaxing his young defender Sanchez in his debut season in England. While Carter-Vickers’ recall shows Pochettino’s faith in the youngster, it could seriously hamper the American’s development given the fact that he is unlikely to get a decent amount of game time under the Argentine.