Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the signing of right-back Matt Doherty. The player departs Wolves after 10 years on the club’s books. He has signed a four-year deal at the club and will wear the number two shirt, as per the club website.
Tottenham Hotspur Complete Signing of Matt Doherty
Spurs Bolster Right-Back Position
Matt Doherty is a very useful signing for Spurs. They have lacked depth in both their full-back positions. Currently, Serge Aurier is the first-choice right-back. But, with the arrival of Doherty comes a source of competition as well as support for Aurier.
The Republic of Ireland defender has made 75 Premier League appearances, with eight goals and eight assists. He has played a part in keeping 19 clean sheets in these matches.
At 28 years old, he is a player that is reaching his peak. Indeed, he has plenty of experience which will allow him to slot into Mourinho’s system. Nevertheless, he has a four-year deal which will provide Spurs with a good right-back in the short term.
Pragmatic Signings Continue
The club have now made three senior signings this summer. This includes Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Joe Hart. Hojbjerg was a much-needed source of steel in the centre of the park. Meanwhile, Hart provides experience as well as contributing the number of homegrown players in the squad.
Doherty comes in as another solid signing for Spurs. It is not a groundbreaking transfer but it addresses a key area of concern. Moreover, he is able to play as a wing-back, capable at defending but also going forward.
Mourinho has already shown his desire to use Aurier in this role, allowing him to press high up the field to provide a vital source of width.
Youth and Experience
Spurs sold Kyle Walker-Peters to Southampton after he impressed on loan. Walker-Peters had graduated from the Tottenham youth academy after spending seven years at the club. He made a Man of the Match debut against Newcastle United, but never really got a full run of matches to invest in his potential.
When the club were being linked with the likes of Max Aarons, it seemed to make little sense. This is because Walker-Peters is arguably a more experienced and better player than Aarons. By bringing Doherty in, Spurs have swapped out a young academy graduate for an older player.
Similarly, the club have also added an ageing goalkeeper in Joe Hart (33). This poses an issue of ensuring that the younger players have enough opportunity to break into the first-team in order to fully develop into senior players.
Arguably, this is an issue that started in the latter stages of Mauricio Pochettino‘s tenure, after early signs of giving opportunities to promising young players. Mourinho seems to prefer older, more experienced personnel. As a result, this promotes short-termism and risks creating an old squad that has gone past their best years.
On the other hand, during pre-season Mourinho has been keen to blood his young players. This includes Dennis Cirkin, Alfie Devine, Jack Clarke, Cameron Carter-Vickers et al.
It is unlikely that some of these younger stars will feature regularly in the Premier League. They may, however, get some minutes in the Europa League.
Mourinho has spoken of his desire to “do something beautiful” in the Europa League. Perhaps this will be a perfect opportunity to blend youth and experience with Dennis Cirkin on one wing and Matt Doherty on the other.