Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a huge injury blow ahead of today’s crunch match with Leicester City…
Interim head coach Ryan Mason has confirmed that Japhet Tanganga will not make the trip to the King Power Stadium after suffering a serious injury during their 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa in midweek.
Speaking ahead of kick-off, he told reporters, via football.london:
“Japhet and Ben are the only two [absent] at the moment,” the 29-year-old revealed. “Japhet sustained a naughty ankle injury I think to his ligament so he won’t feature at the weekend and hopefully it isn’t too long for him out. Ben resumed some light training today [Friday] so they’re the only two at the moment who aren’t available for selection.”
This will come as worrying news to Mason as he has trusted the Hotspur Way academy graduate to start at right-back in recent outings, over both Serge Aurier and Matt Doherty, who were Jose Mourinho’s first choices.
The 22-year-old gem had started to come into this own in the role, putting in a solid performance against Wolves, building on his pair of outings against Aston Villa and Newcastle United over a month ago.
It now means Mason has a tough decision to make at right-back – does he go back to Aurier, who he’s not trusted in their last two outings, or will Doherty earn a rare start?
The Ivory Coast international has been blasted for his displays in recent matches. Jamie Carragher slammed him as “one of the biggest liabilities in the Premier League” and one that would “put you off management” following their Carabao Cup final defeat, for example.
Whilst at one stage, the Irishman looked to already be on his way out of the club after just one season, with ESPN reporting that Mourinho was close to putting him up for sale due to his poor performances back in late February.
It’s no wonder that Mason has turned to the young academy starlet as a result, so to not have him available in their biggest game of the season is certainly a devastating blow that’ll leave the caretaker manager hugely gutted.
Spurs have to pick up a victory to stand a chance of qualifying for Europe. A defeat, with results going against them elsewhere, would condemn the North London outfit to their first season without European football since 2009/10.
That will certainly make them a less attractive prospect for Daniel Levy’s next hire.
The Lilywhites could well rue the absence of young Tanganga today, and having to pick between Aurier and Doherty in such a crucial match is like having to pick your poison.
Good luck, Ryan.