No clear favourite in the battle for Spurs' left-back place

Danny Rose and Ben Davies both have their strengths and may be utilised in different ways throughout the season for Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspur’s problem position at left-back seems to have been sorted out by Mauricio Pochettino already.

Spurs struggled to find an adequate regular starter in the position last season with a quartet of players all being utilised at left-back.

The likes of Jan Vertonghen, Zeki Fryers, Kyle Naughton and Danny Rose were all tested in the position, but none looked completely comfortable as a first-team regular for a Champions League hopeful in that spot.

As such, one of Pochettino’s priorities after being appointed Spurs boss was to bring in a new addition – and he did so by signing Ben Davies from Swansea City last month.

Davies appears to be fighting for a space in the squad with Rose, who has just put-pen-to-paper on a new five-year-deal much to his delight.

The 24-year-old often looked a little exposed in a Spurs backline which was shown up on regular occasions, but he has obviously impressed his new manager during his initial time at the club and Rose says that the competition will drive his performances on to the next level.

“We’ve brought in Ben Davies now and I’m hoping he can improve me, and likewise I’m hoping I can help him settle in and help him improve his game as well,” he told the club’s official site.

“There are two or three good players in each position at the Club and we’re all excited for the start of the season.”

Pochettino’s main dilemma now will be which one of his left back options he should pick as his first choice, especially as looking at the stats no clear favourite emerges.

  TeamPosEffective Blocked Cross / appsAerial Won / appsInterception / appsTotal Clearance / appsWon Tackle / appsAccurate Cross / appsAccurate Pass / appsWon Contest / appsAppsMins
Ben Davies Swansea DF 0.53 1.65 1.85 3.21 1.74 0.59 40.97 0.44 34 2,873
Danny Rose Spurs DF 0.36 1.27 2.00 3.05 2.09 0.68 32.59 1.05 22 1,902

Both of Spurs’ current left-back options have their own strengths and weaknesses, with Davies’ defending clearly better – due to him making more interceptions and clearances – but with Rose’s attacking talents more impressive.

Davies won more headers, made more blocks and cleared more dangerous attacks than his new team-mate did, but Rose outperformed him going forward – making more interceptions which allowed him to set off on his marauding runs down the left flank. He was more also more accurate when he got into advanced positions – creating a number of chances for his team with his crossing.

It is because of this that Pochettino has offered him a new contract, as it is evident that both defenders can be utilised depending on the opponent.

Against the sides were Spurs are expected to do more defending it is likely Davies will be picked as the Argentine manager’s first choice, but Rose’s attacking instincts may be favoured when Tottenham face the lesser sides in the Premier League.

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