Sergio Reguilon endured a horror show on his return to action as Tottenham Hotspur lost 2-1 at West Ham United on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho had rarely tackled Premier League fixtures without the Spaniard before the blow, with Reguilon starting 12 of his 13 prior top-flight appearances and missing just four games.
Was Mourinho wrong to start Reguilon?
Yes, what was he thinking?
No, he had to start the game
But he failed to leave a glowing endorsement of his talents on the London Stadium pitch before being hauled off for Dele Alli inside the final quarter of an hour, as Mourinho went aggressive in search of an equalising goal.
The Spurs boss had already shown his ruthless streak at the break whilst the north Londoners were two goals behind after strikes from Michail Antonio and Jesse Lingard, having substituted Japhet Tanganga and Erik Lamela at half-time.
Tanganga’s performance had returned a modest 6.3 out of 10 match rating from SofaScore, with the 21-year-old unable to offer any defensive or attacking contribution while losing possession 10 times.
Yet Reguilon had often performed at a lower standard and could only rise his match rating back to a base six out of 10 by the time his number was shown, having been second best to most of what West Ham threw at him.
Never has the £48k-per-week full-back earned a lower grade for his performances, with his previous worst score for a Premier League game coming against Manchester United in October when Reguilon earned a 6.3 before a 6.2 away to Royal Antwerp in the Europa League.
It was not until the second half that Reguilon was able to win a single duel against the Irons, ending his afternoon with success in just 22% of all challenges. The defender won only two of his six contests on the ground and zero of his three in the air.
He further turned over possession 16 times, committed three fouls – Tanganga made zero – and offered no successful tackles or interceptions, much like his earlier withdrawn teammate.
Reguilon usually contributes significantly more for Mourinho at both ends of the pitch, with the Spain international on average winning 3.1 ground duels with a 47% success rate and 1.0 aerial contests with a 42% success rate. The five-cap full-back further offers 1.7 successful tackles and 1.0 interceptions.
He also left Tottenham’s forward options wanting more from his deliveries with just one of four crosses finding a teammate, yet his efforts matched a seasonal success rate of 26%.
Mourinho would surely have expected to see more from Reguilon on his return to the side, even if Sunday’s defeat was his first outing in more than a month.