Tottenham Hotspur kick off their 2022/23 Premier League campaign this afternoon with a home clash against Southampton.
After a gruelling pre-season period which saw the north London club take on the likes of Sevilla, Rangers and AS Roma, the Lilywhites are back in competitive action under Antonio Conte.
While the Spurs starting XI could be rather intriguing given the number of new signings that the club have made throughout the summer transfer window, one newcomer who we think should be given his Premier League debut today is Clement Lenglet.
Conte must unleash Lenglet
After making 158 appearances for Barcelona, in which he scored seven goals and provided three assists, the defender joined Spurs on a season-long loan deal in July.
To highlight his defensive talent, across 105 La Liga appearances for the La Liga giants since the start of the 2018/19 season, the centre-back has totalled 119 successful tackles, 381 successful pressures, 137 blocks, 79 interceptions and 296 clearances.
To compare that with current Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez from the same period of time, the Colombian has won 102 tackles, 285 successful pressures, 141 blocks and 466 clearances.
This suggests that the Frenchman could be better at physically taking the ball off his opponents with pressures and tackles rather than waiting for the ball to come to him.
Bearing in mind how only seven Premier League clubs took more shots at goal last season than Southampton (483), it’s safe to say that today’s opponents could offer a good test for Lenglet in his first league match of the campaign, assuming he is selected against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
Would you like to see Lenglet start today?
Hailed as a “world-class” player by France manager Didier Deschamps, Lenglet certainly appears to have what it takes to make an impact on this Spurs team and bully Southampton’s attacking players.
If Conte is thinking about handing out any club debuts in his starting XI today, putting Lenglet in from the outset could be a good way of seeing if the Frenchman has what it takes to settle into the rhythm of the Premier League and perform at a high level in England’s top flight.
If Lenglet does start and Spurs manage to secure a win and keep a clean sheet, this would not only be a great start to the season for the club but also for the 27-year-old loanee.
Based on the aforementioned figures and the threat that today’s visitors can pose, the newcomer could be a better option than Sanchez to select alongside Cristian Romero, a likely starter given that he was Spurs’ best-performing centre-back last season according to WhoScored.