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Meet the 19-year-old River Plate defender wanted by Spurs

| 11.02.2015

Since the fairly rock-solid partnership of Ledley King and Michael Dawson ended, Spurs’ track record in recruiting centre-backs has been as dodgy as their former skipper’s knee.

Of the current squad only Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul have been at the club for any significant length of time, but only the former seems capable of holding down a first-team spot under Mauricio Pochettino.

Playing alongside summer-signing Federico Fazio, the Belgian looked to have finally found a long-term partner, only for the former Sevilla star to be benched for Eric Dier in the last two games.

Dier’s performances against Arsenal and Liverpool should see the Englishman earn an extended run at the heart of Spurs’ backline, meaning Vlad Chiriches and Kaboul will battle it out for the fourth and fifth spots in the club’s rotation.

That Kaboul was named club captain at the start of the season looks an even more curious decision, as the likelihood of both him and Chiriches leaving at the end of the season increases.

Should that be the case, the 5/1 top-four challengers will ideally look to bring in a young centre-half to learn the ropes as fourth choice, which is where highly-rated River Plate youngster Emanuel Mammana comes in.

Pochettino has sent his scouts to watch the 19-year-old this season, and upon hearing positive reports, looks ready to make the Merlo native his pick to fill that role.

Mammana’s talent was picked up early in his career, having played for his country’s U17 and U20 sides regularly before graduating into the senior setup for his first Albiceleste appearance prior to the World Cup.

That talent is starting to filter into River Plate’s consciousness as he has made his senior debut for the club this season, appearing three times in total so far.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.