COMMENT By Will Butcher
Mauricio Pochettino should give Georges N’Koudou his first Premier League start for Tottenham against Manchester United on Sunday.
The 21-year-old has struggled to find his way into Spurs’ first team with the likes of Heung-Min Son, Moussa Sissoko and Erik Lamela considered above him in the pecking order.
With Spurs looking to secure their third consecutive win after victories against CSKA Moscow and Swansea, here are three reasons why N’Koudou should start on the flank:
Keeping up with Valencia
With United at home, Jose Mourinho’s side are expected to enjoy the lion’s share of possession that will see United’s full-backs push high up the flanks.
Ecuador international Antonio Valencia possesses an abundance of pace at right-back, and will look to use that to get in behind the Tottenham defence.
Playing N’Koudou, who signed in the summer from Ligue 1 side Marseille, would give Tottenham cover on the flank as Spurs’ number 14 will be able to match Valencia stride for stride.
Better option that Sissoko
With Moussa Sissoko failing to live up to his £30million price tag and Argentina international Erik Lamela still sidelined through injury, Pochettino is limited in his options on the flanks.
France Under-21’s international N’Koudou could save Pochettino a selection headache, as he is pacy, tricky and capable of brilliance.
Starring in a number of substitute appearances, former Southampton boss Pochettino should give his new signing a start.
With little amount of game time, N’Koudou is largely unknown by opposition defences and managers in the Premier League.
His lack of appearances could then be used to Spurs advantage against United, as they look to close the gap on North London rivals Arsenal.
In other Tottenham news, Stan Collymore has predicted Sunday’s clash.