The former Chelsea and Manchester United coach joined Tottenham in November 2019 and one of the miracles he has created is Tanganga.
Prior to Mourinho‘s return to the Premier League to coach Tottenham, the 21-year-old defender who has been with the Tottenham Youth Academy since he was 10 years old, never had the chance to prove himself in the club’s senior team.
However, when the Portuguese tactician came, Mourinho saw something his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino didn’t see in Tanganga. Hence, he gave him his first Premier League appearance against the league table-toppers Liverpool football club on 11 January 2020.
The English football youngster took full advantage of the opportunity which earned him a full 90 minutes against Middlesbrough in a FA Cup replay three days after. The match ended 2 goals to 1 in favour of Tottenham and Tanganga was named man of the match.
Since he didn’t disappoint the coach, the Congolese born British footballer has remained a consistent figure in Mourinho‘s team since then, making 9 appearances before the coronavirus crisis forced the season to a halt.
“He [Mourinho] has taught me a lot,” he told Sky Sports. “In training, he’s given me a lot of information, a lot of details, a lot of ways to improve.
“How to defend one [on] 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.”
Japhet Tanganga Wants to Play for England instead of his father’s country
Japhet Tanganga also revealed how much he wishes to represent the English senior team having represented England at every age group up to under 20s, despite having Congolese ancestry.
He said playing for the Three Lions of England has been his goal and he would do all he could on the pitch to attract the attention of England manager Gareth Southgate.
“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”, he said.
“Fikayo [Tomori of Chelsea FC] 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.”