Ledley King’s current defensive partner Younes Kaboul is the next player to be analysed by To the Lane and Back.
The Frenchman has been ever present for Spurs in the league this season, having established himself as the clubs number one defender due to injuries to William Gallas abd Michael Dawson and King’s inability to regularly partake in back-to-back games.
Alongside Dawson, his performances haven’t been up to standard but alongside an experienced head like King or Gallas in the back four, Kaboul has looked much more assured and confident with either of the aforementioned duo besides him.
However, it hasn’t always been easy for Kaboul at White Hart Lane. His first stint at the club promised much but other than a dramatic late equaliser in the 125-year 4-4 draw with Aston Villa, the now 25-year-old failed to live up to his early promise he showed while with Auxerre and with the French U-21 side.
Arguably, he was thrown into the deep end and expected to shine from the start, especially with Michael Dawson and Ledley King both injured upon his arrival. The critics knocked his confidence and he moved to Portsmouth a little over 12 months later.
It was Harry Redknapp that saw the potential in the youngster and he snapped him up on the cheap from Spurs who were keen to get rid. Under Redknapp, Kaboul’s career began to take flight once more, living up to his potential that he showed during his time at Auxerre. Often utilised in front of the back four, he excelled in the position while performing admirably when called to play at centre-back.
It was his form and Redknapp’s insistence on bringing him with him to Spurs that Kaboul emerged back at White Hart Lane for his second stint with the club, this time a better player all-round. His positional sense had improved and his time with the south coast club saw him mature as a player.
He has excelled with King next time in the past four games and against Arsenal, any long ball that was thrown towards the Spurs box was superbly repelled by the Frenchman. Whether it is in defence or attack, the aerial ability of the defender is one of his most potent weapons available to him.
His versatility is also key and his time at right-back in the final games of the 09/10 season were pivotal in their top four finish, Kaboul’s run and parried cross proving Peter Crouch with the goal that got Spurs to the champions league. Many even speculated that his long-term future would be at right-back and before the emergence of Kyle Walker, some weren’t far from the truth.
Nonetheless, while some feel Dawson or Gallas would be better suited alongside King, it is Kaboul who has stepped up to he plate when injuries looked to have taken their toll on the squad.