Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga sets his sights on England call-up when football resumes

Tanganga also praises the influence of Spurs boss Jose Mourinho: "He has taught me a lot, he's been very helpful"

Japhet Tanganga in action for Tottenham Hotspur on his Premier League debut against Liverpool
Image: Japhet Tanganga made his Premier League debut for Tottenham in January

Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga is hoping for an England call-up when football finally resumes to achieve his "goal" of becoming a senior international.

The 21-year-old burst on to the scene in January after being surprisingly handed his Premier League debut against Liverpool and he went on to make a further nine appearances before the season was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Englishman, who has played all across the back four in his fleeting career, will already be known to England boss Gareth Southgate, having represented England at every age group up to the U20s.

The 12-month postponement of Euro 2020 could well work out well for Tanganga, who is vocal about his desire for a full cap.

Spurs trio Giovani Lo Celso, Japhet Tanganga and Serge Aurier react during the game at RB Leipzig
Image: Tanganga has made 11 appearances in all competitions this season

He said: "In life you have to have goals and one of my goals is to be capped at senior level for England.

"For me, all I can do is what I can on the pitch and leave it with the England manager to select me.

"All I'm doing at the moment is following the guidelines and waiting for the government to decide when we can go back to football or not. Right now, that's all I'm focusing on.

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"Like I said, in life you have to have ambitions and one of my goals is to get capped at senior level for England.

"Fikayo [Tomori] has done that and now I'm in a similar position. I see it as an opportunity and an example to follow and hopefully one day I can get capped and achieve one of my goals."

If Tanganga does get the call, he will owe a lot to Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho, who was brave enough to throw him in for a Premier League debut against the league leaders.

Jose
Image: Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho has had a big influence on Tanganga

The Portuguese was working hard with him in training as well, before they were restricted to fitness sessions via video call when the pandemic struck in March.

"He has taught me a lot," Tanganga admitted. "In training he's given me a lot of information, a lot of details, a lot of ways to improve.

"How to defend one v one, how to defend set-pieces or work in wide areas and at corners. He's given me a lot of information and I feel playing right-back and left-back has added to my game and allowed me to be adaptable and defend in all areas of the pitch, not just at centre-half.

"So yeah, he's helped me a lot, given a lot of information, he's really been very helpful."

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