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‘Terrific’ Tottenham player to get his chance to impress Ange Postecoglou in the initial pre-season outings

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'Terrific' Tottenham player to get his chance to impress Ange Postecoglou in the initial pre-season outings

Ashley Phillips is the only natural centre-back available for Tottenham Hotspur in initial pre-season games

Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou will face difficulties in the back line for the upcoming pre-season friendlies with Ashley Phillips being the only recognized centre-back.

Some of the Spurs defenders haven’t returned to the club, as they are busy with their respective national teams for Euro and Copa America tournaments. The Aussie manager would feature Ashley Phillips as the main central defender option until their return, per Football London.

Tottenham have started their first training session of the season under manager Ange Postecoglou at the Enfield training complex. Ange had some changes in his coaching staff and all the new recruitments have joined the club for training. The non-international players, new signings Archie Grey and Lucas Bergvall and academy products Dane Scarlett, Jamie Donley, Mikey Moore, George Abbott, Tyrese Hall, Luca Gunter and returning loan players Alfie Devine and Ashley Phillips were also involved in the training.

Many players are still absent from the squad as they are on national duty for the summer tournaments. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Micky van de Ven, Radu Dragusin and Guglielmo Vicario have been involved at Euro 2024 and Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso and Rodrigo Bentancur are in action at the Copa America in the USA.

Spurs backline has less options for pre-season

The absence of the players has affected the back line of the club. Ange only has English defender Ashley Phillips as the natural centre-back option for the upcoming pre-season games. The youth star Alfie Dorrington was an option for the manager but he is currently recovering from his injury and will be only available by September.

Radu Dragusin who bowed out with Romania from the Euros is currently on holiday and expected to link with the club by the end of the month. It is the perfect chance for the 19-year-old Phillips to impress the manager. The England U20 international has spent the second half of the last campaign with Plymouth as a loanee, and he has displayed dazzling performances for the Championship side by winning the club’s Young Player of the Season award within a six-month stint.

Ashley Phillips is likely to get a chance in Tottenham pre-season
Ashley Phillips is likely to get a chance in Tottenham pre-season

The English defender was a favourite starter for Plymouth manager Ian Foster and was a key defender in the backline for the Championship club. He has played 18 games for Plymouth in the recently concluded season. He wants to continue his form in the pre-season matches for the North London club to win a permanent spot in the squad.

The former Plymouth manager Ian Foster has praised the 19 year-old-talent as “terrific” after his debut for the Championship club.

“They’re 18(Phillips) and 19(Gyabi), it’s not an easy place to come and everything else that’s going on, but I thought they handled it excellently, If you were watching the game from afar I don’t think you’d recognise that it’s two teenagers making their debuts. Credit to Ashley, in particular, because I know he got a knock in the second half, but we’re really pleased for both of them,”

Foster said about Darko Gyabi and Phillips about their debut match for Plymouth to BBC.

The young defender needs to find a permanent spot in the North London squad and it is the best chance for him to prove his ability. Spurs have pre-season friendlies against Hearts and QPR next week and Ange will feature Phillips as the centre-back for both matches or until the return of Dragusin and Romero.

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Anyway, as Ange said back in March Spurs could sign a centre-back in the summer to bolster their squad. If Philipps can impress Ange, then the Aussie coach will have plenty of options for the centre-back position.

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