According to Charlie Eccleshare, Matt Doherty has been ruled out due to Covid-19. The Tottenham Hotspur right-back has tested positive for the virus during international duty with the Republic of Ireland, meaning he will now have to self-isolate for at least ten days. He has been already ruled out for the upcoming UEFA Nations League game against Bulgaria as well as the Manchester City game on the weekend.
Has Doherty Played A Key Role For Spurs This Season?
Doherty has provided Jose Mourinho with a reliable option at right-back, after joining the club from Wolves in the summer. Although the Irishman hasn’t been as impressive as Sergio Reguilon on the opposite flank, his presence in the side has kept Serge Aurier on his toes.
So far this campaign, Doherty has featured in ten competitive matches, six of which have come in the Premier League. He missed only two league matches where he became a part of Mourinho’s rotation policy, and the right-back also had to feature in the Europa League matches against LASK and Ludogorets.
Overall, Doherty has been a key outlet for Spurs in the wide defensive role. He has offered a lot of offensive support, although he must improve his defensive prowess. It essentially means that the fullback combination of him and Reguilon doesn’t offer a great deal of solidity, but with Aurier as an alternative, it doesn’t exactly need to.
What Does His Absence Mean For The Club?
It appears Doherty is guaranteed to miss the upcoming Premier League fixture against Manchester City. His absence at a time when Spurs have a tough set of fixtures coming up could serve as a massive blow for Mourinho.
As a matter of fact, Saturday’s Premier League encounter will be followed by a midweek Europa League fixture against Bulgaria before the team travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea. They also face Arsenal, Liverpool, Wolves and Leicester City in December, although the right-back should be back by then.
For Mourinho, Doherty’s absence in the coming set of games essentially means that he will have to overuse Aurier. However, we might get to witness Gedson Fernandes potentially playing at right-back in the midweek Europa League fixture.
The Portuguese youngster has struggled to become a key fixture in the Spurs lineup this season, but having trained in the right-back role last season, he could relish the opportunity.