Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a fresh injury blow ahead of tonight’s Premier League encounter with Liverpool.
According to the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick, first-choice left-back Sergio Reguilon will miss the match with a muscle injury.
It’s claimed that the 24-year-old is set to miss ‘around three weeks’ which will come as a major blow to Jose Mourinho and his squad.
Reguilon was an unused substitute during their 4-1 win over Championship strugglers Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup fourth round on Monday night.
He underwent a scan on Wednesday to determine the extent of the problem.
This news comes at the worst possible time as Spurs not only have a difficult fixture against the defending champions, who they could leapfrog into fourth place this evening, but they also have London rivals Chelsea, a fifth-round tie with Everton and the league leaders Man City on the horizon.
As Kilpatrick says, he’s likely to be out for three weeks which means he’ll miss all of the aforementioned quartet of fixtures.
To make matters worse, Mourinho could even be without Ben Davies, the likely replacement for the Spaniard, as he was forced off with a knock in injury time earlier this week, though he’s hoping to be passed fit, as per the same report.
That leaves the Spurs boss with a mounting problem and a crucial decision as to who will fill the void. It could mean the relatively inexperienced Japhet Tanganga is thrown into the deep end in the role for only the fourth time in his short career.
And even if Davies makes it, he has been wildly inconsistent, surpassing a mediocre 6.8 WhoScored average only twice in his eight league starts and in the last encounter with the Reds, he managed a disappointing 6.48.
Whoever is selected by Mourinho is going to face a tough evening with Mo Salah likely to line up on the right flank for Jurgen Klopp. The Egyptian winger has contributed towards 16 goals in 16 league starts this term.
After signing from Real Madrid alongside Gareth Bale for £25m in the summer, Reguilon has set the ground alight for Spurs this campaign.
He has started 12 of his 13 top-flight appearances and has featured a total of 20 times in all competitions, providing five assists, via Transfermarkt.
The five-time Spain international has been Spurs’ best left-sided defender as per WhoScored ratings (6.87), which also ranks him seventh in the whole squad of all players who have started ten or more matches in the Premier League.
Only Harry Kane (14) and Heung-min Son (ten) have contributed more assists than Reguilon this campaign, so clearly his influence in attack is just as valuable as what he can do defensively.
Even then, he’s performing better than Davies – per FBRef, the 24-year-old is averaging double the number of tackles per 90 (2.37) as well as double the number tackles and interceptions combined per 90 (3.47) than the Welshman, proving to be the tougher defender to get past on that flank.
Therefore, in his absence, Spurs are likely to be a far weaker team – both in attack and defensively. And there’s no guarantee that Davies is in full fitness, as suggested by Kilpatrick.
Mourinho has plenty to ponder before kick-off tonight.
AND in other news, Mourinho must unleash “unplayable” Spurs beast on Liverpool tonight…