Andros Townsend's Biggest Battle May Be Keeping Tottenham Place
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Tottenham Hotspur and England winger Andros Townsend is the man of the moment.
Hailed as a major reason for England's victories in the final World Cup qualifiers on what were his first two international appearances, he is being touted as a potential star of the tournament itself.
The Daily Star even referred to him as being "England's saviour" amid praise from his Spurs team-mate Kyle Walker.
But the 22-year-old can take nothing for granted if he wants to line up for his country in Brazil next summer. And whether he does so or not will probably be determined by his ability to retain his place in the Tottenham team.
Doing that will not be easy given the competition he faces for the right-wing spot.
In fact, as Aaron Lennon makes his comeback from injury and Erik Lamela adapts to the English game, his position could become the toughest to keep hold of in the Spurs side.
Andre Villas-Boas has already spoken of his excitement at Lennon's return, calling him a player of "importance," and Lamela has international concerns of his own, as he tries to break into the team.
Townsend has made an impressive start to the season for Tottenham. He has looked genuinely determined to earn a permanent place on the team, showing no fear to take on players, take shots on goal and fulfill his defensive duties.
His acceleration and ability to glide past players has been exciting and even, if is not far too early to compare them, reminiscent of the departed Gareth Bale.
But if you were being hyper-critical of Townsend, you could point to the lack of goals he has been involved with for Tottenham.
He does not yet have an assist or goal to his name in the league despite six starts this season.
His part in two England goals this week—scoring one and providing the cross for another—have shown he can do it, and he has won a Premier League penalty and scored once and notched up two assists in Europa League matches.
But Gylfi Sigurdsson, on the other flank for Spurs, has already scored three league goals this season. While such statistics do not always tell the full story, over the course of a few more league games, they will start to paint a picture.
As with Lennon and a handful of other English wingers, including Theo Walcott and Ashley Young, the question marks will be over Townsend's end product rather than his pace.
By proving he can cross and shoot to glorious effect on the big stage for England, Townsend has won the right to be top of the pecking order on Tottenham's right wing, as Bleacher Report featured columnist James Barnes points out.
But to remain there, he will need to produce the same magic for his club on a regular basis.
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