Ange Postecoglou has confirmed Son Heung-min and Yves Bissouma are both back from international duty and available for Tottenham’s Premier League clash with Brighton on Saturday.
The Spurs boss has his healthiest squad to pick from in months ahead of the game with the Seagulls, with skipper Son now back from the Asian Cup and Bissouma also ready to feature after his stint with Mali at the African Cup of Nations.
Pape Sarr should also be fit to start as well after coming on as a substitute in Tottenham‘s 2-2 draw at Everton last time out.
Speaking ahead of the game, Postecoglou told reporters: “It’s good to get the guys back, all three of them, Pape (Sarr) as well. Unfortunately, their tournaments ended early, but we’re the beneficiaries of that. They’re good… Biss had a bit of a longer trip, but they both trained today.”
Postecoglou also revealed that Bissouma is now at 100% after recovering from the mild form of malaria that affected his participation out in the Ivory Coast. Indeed, the former Seagulls midfielder failed to start any of his country’s last few games at the tournament because of the issue.
In terms of other players who could be available, Gio Lo Celso is also back in training but “needs more time” before he is back involved on matchday.
However, Manor Solomon has had a further procedure on his knee, meaning he is two to three weeks away from returning to action and Ryan Sessegnon is continuing his rehab after a thigh issue ruled him out for the season.
But, on balance, Postecoglou admitted “it’s the healthiest squad we’ve had for quite a while”.
The big question now is who starts in the middle of the park against Brighton, with Sarr and Rodrigo Bentancur the likely pairing if Bissouma is not quite ready for 90 minutes.
Timo Werner might also be left out, despite looking dangerous in recent outings and having some assists to his name since his loan switch from Leipzig. However, Son offers the far greater goal threat and is also captain so is certain to get the nod if he is good to go.
Postecoglou feeling blue over new card trial
Meanwhile, Postecoglou also commented on the new proposal for blue sin-bin cards that are set to be trailed, and once again the Aussie was not mixing his words with his thoughts.
He added: “I struggle to understand why this urgency suddenly to bring in new things. I don’t know if there’s that much wrong with the game. My issue with the game right now is that VAR has changed football as an experience.
“I don’t know why a different colour card is going to make a difference. I don’t know about this taking things from other sports. Other sports are trying to make their games faster, we’re bringing in more clutter.”
Postecoglou also admitted that fans will have to take the rough with the smooth in terms of conceding late goals in matches, as Tottenham did at Goodison last weekend to throw away two points.
He said: “It’s disappointing to concede goals at any point. People will want to analyse it. I’m sorry but we’re going to be a team that will score or concede goals late.
‘The way we want to close out games is by trying to scoring goals late on. One thing we’re not going to do is jump at shadows and try to fix the latest thing being analysed.”