Is Pochettino right to have finally settled on his first-choice left-back?

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Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose was made to operate further up the pitch on Wednesday evening, with Ben Davies given the nod in his more natural position.

With Danny Rose selected to play at left-wing against Burnley on Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur may have finally settled on their first-choice left-back. 

Ben Davies and Rose have been competing with each other for the spot in the first team but Rose's more advanced role suggests he may no longer be the preference. 

Rose began the season as Mauricio Pochettino's regular starter but an injury handed Davies a chance and he hasn't looked back since.

Solid defensively but impressive going forward, the summer signing from Swansea City has earned widespread plaudits for his performances and Wednesday night was perhaps an indication that Pochettino may have definitively concluded on who he wishes to operate at left-back for the rest of the season.

Although the Argentine's selection did include a number of players who have been on the fringes, Rose's left-wing role is a suggestion that his chances are now limited in his favoured position - although he did naturally start out as a midfielder.

Tottenham have a dearth of cover on the wings as it stands and, with Aaron Lennon set to depart in the coming weeks according to the London Evening Standard, it seems Rose may have to operate further forward if he is to get games. 

That may be no bad thing, as his performance against Burnley was an encouraging one. A direct runner, the 24-year-old can be a threat going forward and his goal will have unquestionably caught his manager's eye.

But Pochettino's decision to select Davies is perhaps surprising given that the stats seem to suggest Rose has actually offered them more in a defensive sense.

It is often said to be a weakness of the Tottenham academy-graduate's game but, statistically at least, Rose has averaged more tackles, interceptions and blocked opposition crosses than Davies per game, although the Welshman is more commanding in the air.

  Aerial Duels Won (per game)InterceptionsTackles WonBlocked CrossesAppearancesMinutes Played
Ben Davies 1.44 1.89 1.56 0.67 9 662
Danny Rose 1.07 2.33 2.27 0.87 15 1,222

Stats can be misleading, however, and plenty of Tottenham fans seem to agree Davies is the better bet at the back. Going forward, meanwhile, Rose is arguably more of a threat - and the stats would certainly support that conclusion.

  Accurate Crosses (per game)Dribbles WonChances Created
Danny Rose 0.8 0.6 0.8
Ben Davies 0.33 0.33 0.78

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