Tottenham Hotspur will miss out on the services Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela in their upcoming game against Sheffield United on Saturday. Both the players are suffering from a hamstring problem and have been ruled out for this fixture – the club confirmed today. Hugo Lloris, meanwhile, is also out as he has recently undergone a surgery.
In this article, we will discuss as to how Mauricio Pochettino should deal with these injury problems ahead of his side’s clash against the newly-promoted Premier League outfit.
Would Vertonghen’s absence be a huge blow?
In fairness, Vertonghen has struggled a lot this season, which, in turn, has served as one of the main reasons behind Tottenham’s imbalance in defence. But, he was still a better option than Davinson Sanchez, who is the one that is likely to deputise for the injured Belgian.
Sanchez’s development has taken a massive dip only due to his own futility. His positioning has often been poor, and the Colombian has lacked composure – something that is completely unacceptable at this level of football. Moreover, the ex-Ajax prodigy seems to struggle with the ball at his feet.
So, the best option for Pochettino right now would be to utilise Juan Foyth in central defence. Even though the Argentine has suffered from an injury for most of the campaign, he is confident, and his energetic presence should combine well with the experienced figure of Toby Alderweireld.
Moreover, Foyth is more comfortable when it comes to playing out from the back. And against an opponent like Sheffield United, who are expected to provide Spurs with the bulk of the possession, his distribution skills could come in handy.
Do Spurs really need Lamela?
Pochettino will, no doubt, love to have as many attacking options as possible. But, Lamela’s absence may actually be redundant as it’s likely that the Argentine mastermind would have rotated his squad after a midweek win against Crvena Zvezda in the UEFA Champions League.
It was Giovani Lo Celso who started on a wide-attacking role. But, we would expect Pochettino to deploy Lucas Moura this time around, with Dele Alli featuring as an attacking midfielder. Even then, the Spurs manager would have additional options at his disposal, including Christian Eriksen, Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon.
Therefore, the Lilywhites shouldn’t be fazed by the absence of Lamela. However, they should perhaps take a more pragmatic approach, especially with Vertonghen missing out.