Juan Foyth hasn’t exactly had the best start to his Tottenham Hotspur career. It’s not entirely his fault — he picked up an injury during Spurs’ preseason and did not feature at all in the preseason International Champions Cup in USA, a major setback for the young central defender. That same injury kept him out of match contention through until late September.
The end result is that Foyth hasn’t gotten a single look in Spurs’ first team this season. The closest he’s come was making the bench in Spurs’ EFL Cup win over Watford. Now, Dan Kilpatrick is writing in the Evening Standard that Foyth is considering quitting the club in January if he doesn’t start getting opportunities to actually play matches.
It’s not particularly hard to understand why he’s frustrated. He’s a very young player who is behind three, possibly four, Spurs first team central defenders, and is coming off of an injury. He’s been very patient in waiting for his chance, and also a bit unlucky — if Toby Alderweireld had been sold as expected this past summer he likely have moved up in the pecking order. As it stands, even with Jan Vertonghen’s injury he’s still firmly behind Toby, Davinson Sanchez, and even Eric Dier.
That same injury also meant that he was omitted from Spurs’ Champions League squad for the second straight year, and the media continually links Spurs to central defenders such as Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Ake. Dan Killy-P’s article suggests that Pochettino has cooled somewhat on his potential, which feels weird considering how long he’s been injured this season. So I have no idea, but I can understand why Foyth would be frustrated.
I’m not ready to make too much hay about this. Foyth is only 20 years old and was deemed good enough to get called up to Argentina’s squad this past week, even if he didn’t play. He obviously has potential, but even allowing for a 22-year old in Davinson Sanchez in Spurs’ first team, that’s a huge hill for a 20-year old central defender to climb in a Champions League caliber club.
We’ve seen similar players express frustration of this kind after long injuries and periods without matches — Danny Rose is the most recent one. Ultimately it comes down to Foyth taking the opportunities that come to him, probably in next few rounds of the domestic cups. I’d be a little frustrated in these circumstances too, but I’d be equally frustrated if Foyth were to leave the club before he got any sort of a chance to see if he really belongs at this level.