Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says that he fears for Toby Alderweireld, who suffered a “bad” injury in the win over Manchester City.
Spurs enjoyed a magnificent night in north London on Saturday, going top of the Premier League table. Goals from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso kept the club’s recent unbeaten run alive.
However, the injury to Belgium defender Alderweireld dampened Spurs’ spirits. The 31-year-old went down with an adductor issue with nine minutes left and had to go off.
Speaking after the match, Mourinho offered his simple verdict on the fresh injury blow.
“It’s bad, it’s bad. It’s a muscular injury,” the manager said. “The dimension of course we don’t know, we have to wait, but it’s a difficult injury for sure.
“In the Premier League we have three centre-backs. In the Europa League we don’t have Joe Rodon, we only have two, but that’s the way it is.
“We don’t have anybody to blame. He played in the international matches that the team needed to win to qualify for the final four [of the Nations League].
“With us he’s playing so well we decided to play him rather than rest him. There’s nobody to blame, just to recover as soon as possible.”
Despite Mourinho not looking to blame anyone, he will certainly feel Alderweireld’s absence. Spurs, who have had a relatively easy start to the campaign, face Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester during the next month.
Defensive reshuffle for Spurs
October signing Rodon made his first appearance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when he was introduced in place of Alderweireld and could now be in line for his full debut at Chelsea next Sunday.
The young Welsh centre-back signed for Spurs after they had registered their squad for the Europa League. As such, Davinson Sanchez will likely play against Ludogorets on Thursday.
Another alternative for Mourinho going forward is academy graduate Japhet Tanganga, who is building up his fitness after a stop-start campaign. Left–back Ben Davies, meanwhile, has regularly played more centrally for Wales.
Ex-Swansea ace Rodon appears likely to partner Eric Dier in defence though and will aim to fill the void left by Alderweireld, who has helped Tottenham concede only once in their last four league games.