Solving Tottenham’s Left-Back Conundrum: Which Of These Top-class Defenders Should Pochettino Choose On The Long Run?

Ben Davies

Why Pochettino Should Stick With Ben Davies Even If Rose Returns To Full Fitness

Danny Rose has been missing from Spurs’ squad with a knee injury since January but is expected to return to full training by this week. While the player might be closing in on making a comeback of sorts, it will be quite tough for the player to wrest his position back from Ben Davies.

Although Davies initially struggled to fill Rose’s shoes, he slowly rose to the occasion. As of now, Davies has been in top form this season. Rose’s return may not be anytime soon but Mauricio Pochettino’s men do have a huge month ahead of them – they face Liverpool and Manchester United in the Premier League, followed by West Ham United in the Carabao Cup, and Real Madrid in the Champions League.

The manager might choose to rotate the two if Rose is fully fit, just to shake things up a bit. In the long run though, who should Pochettino choose?

Before diving into that, it needs to be established that both players are equally important in the left-back position for Spurs. Whenever both Rose and Davies are out, Spurs really do struggle. For example, against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final, Heung Min Son played as the left wing-back and Spurs lost. Similarly, at Wembley against Swansea, Son played in that position again and Tottenham had to settle for a draw.

Danny Rose

If numbers are anything to go by, Spurs have won win 65.57% percent of the games when Davies starts. That numbers endures a major drop to 44.0% with Rose. Moreover, there is also a significant difference in points, since Davies averages 2.08 per start while Rose is at 1.72.

Additionally, Davies has also proven to be a viable support system when it comes to surging forward. In the 4-0 win against Huddersfield Town, Davies was a constant threat even while going forward. In fact, a lot of Tottenham’s attack was orchestrated down the left. He made smart runs and put in some brilliant crosses, while also providing Moussa Sissoko with the assist for Tottenham’s fourth.

No defender in the Premier League has created more chances this season, and that certainly amounts to how good Davies has been for Spurs. Thus, the choice seems pretty clear: Davies has definitely enjoyed a better run. Even when it comes to their respective playing styles, Davies is more effective.

Considering how things have been so far, it seems tough for Rose to launch a successful comeback attempt. His explosive interview with The Sun – where he questioned Tottenham’s wage policy – certainly does not help his case.

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Written by Meghna Sengupta

Editor @ Soccersouls. Lives in Chennai, and a Manchester United fan.
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