The Chalkboard: Mauricio Pochettino should turn to Kazaiah Sterling amid injury crisis

Following Thursday night’s penalty shootout loss to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final, as per BBC, Tottenham’s injury crisis has somehow worsened as Ben Davies was forced to leave the field with a problem, which has left the north Londoners’ looking pretty short.

Mauricio Pochettino is now without all of Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Davies, whom the club’s official Twitter account confirmed on Friday will not be available this weekend, are all injured, whilst Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama are still rebuilding their fitness from previous issues – Son Heung-Min is also away with South Korea but following their Asian Cup quarter-final defeat against Qatar, as reported by Goal, is set to be back sooner than expected.

Who can Pochettino turn to?

Out of all of those names mentioned, no-one is as big a loss as Kane. Spurs are overly reliant on the England international and World Cup Golden Boot winner these days to pull them through the mire, and have only Fernando Llorente to come in and cover for him whilst he is out injured.

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The physically-imposing Spaniard did in fact score against the Blues in the aforementioned semi-final loss with a brave header, but he doesn’t look up to being an effective deputy for Kane – at the age of 33 as well, the former Swansea man isn’t a long-term solution.

One man who has a huge ceiling for improvement and could perhaps do a better job than Llorente now is 20-year-old forward Kazaiah Sterling, who has been in fine form for the club’s academy side this season.

How good is he?

Sterling has scored four goals and recorded two assists in seven Premier League 2 matches in the current campaign (as per Transfermarkt), and came off the bench for a cameo appearance in the Champions League win over APOEL in December 2017 – he was also included on the bench in the recent 2-1 win at Fulham.

He is clearly in Pochettino’s thinking, and the former Southampton boss has shown he isn’t afraid to throw young players into the first team recently as Oliver Skipp and George Marsh have made the jump from the academy into the senior squad.

It is unlikely that Spurs will dip into the market for cover, so it would be wise of Pochettino to place his trust in Sterling.

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