Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham fears realised as Maddison withdraws from England squad and set for spell on sidelines

Tottenham midfielder James Maddison has been withdrawn from the England squad due to injury and given Ange Postecoglou even more worries going forward.

The 26-year-old was taken off during the first half of Spurs’ 4-1 Premier League defeat to Chelsea on Monday with an ankle injury, and Spurs have now confirmed he is unavailable for England’s Euro 2024 qualifiers at home to Malta on November 17 and away to North Macedonia on November 20.

Spurs said in a statement that the player would continue his rehabilitation at their Hotspur Way training centre under the supervision of club medical staff, although there is no indication how long he will be out.

Maddison had been included in the initial 25-man squad named by England manager Gareth Southgate on Thursday.

England sealed qualification for next summer’s Euros in Germany in their last qualifier, a 2-1 win over Italy at Wembley last month.

As for the impact his absence will have on Tottenham, there can be no denying that it would be huge.

Postecoglou already has a full-blown crisis on his hands ahead of Saturday’s clash with Wolves at Molineux, although the Australian is sure to manage it in his normal unflappable fashion.

Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie are both banned, while no real update on Micky van de Ven suggests the centre-back will also be absent.

Richarlison has also undergone groin surgery and will be missing for weeks, as Tottenham prepare to send out a fairly makeshift line-up against Gary O’Neil’s men.

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Bentancur set for Tottenham return

Maddison’s injury could give Rodrigo Bentancur the opportunity to return to the starting XI in a No.10 role, if Postecoglou thinks he is fit enough to start after a long lay-off.

Eric Dier will definitely start, having made his first appearance of the season in the devastating loss to Chelsea. Who partners him at centre-back remains a burning question though.

Ben Davies has been dealing with injury issues of his own and if he is not good to go then there is every chance that Postecoglou opts to play midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg alongside Dier, although not with quite as high a line this time around!

Emerson Royal will likely fill in at left-back for the banned Udogie, while Postecoglou will at least be able to unleash his front three of Brennan Johnson, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski.

The early kick-off at Molineux, as tough as it might be given the circumstances, also gives Tottenham the chance to return to the top of the table.

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