Tottenham Hotspur agreed a deadline day deal to send Georges-Kevin N’Koudou on loan to Monaco, leaving the club rather thin in the left midfield position.
Son Heung-Min is clearly the club’s undisputed first-choice in the position but, behind him, there may be cause for alarm, such is the dearth of options behind him.
It has to be said that N’Koudou was hardly Tottenham’s best player.
But the Frenchman, signed from Marseille in 2016, showed in a brief cameo against Fulham in the Premier League that he can be a match-altering presence. Introduced off the bench, N’Koudou provided the cross for Harry Winks’ injury-time winner.
A full game against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup followed and was far less productive, as Spurs were shockingly beaten 2-0 at Selhurst Park.
That may well have coloured Mauricio Pochettino’s thinking when signing off on the deal but there is a risk that Son, who has only just returned from the Asian Cup, could well be burned out if he is tasked with playing every game between now and the end of the season.
Of course, when everyone is fit, the forward line boasts Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Son and Christian Eriksen.
It works because of its fluidity, the interchanging of positions regularly bamboozling opposition defenders.
Without Kane and Alli, though, there has been a creativity vacuum, with Eriksen asked to play in a deeper, less effective role.
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And it may well be that he is needed on the left flank in the coming months, particularly when Son is given a rest.
That would allow Eriksen to change games from the flank and, while he does not possess the searing pace or trickery of Son, he could routinely cut inside and split defences from the side of the pitch, just as he usually does in the middle.
Pochettino also has the option of moving Danny Rose or Ben Davies into a wing-back position, but the idea of Eriksen on the flank does nothing to compromise Spurs’ defensive shape.
Whatever happens, it is clear that Son will need a rest, sooner rather than later.