Tottenham Hotspur are back in Premier League action this lunchtime as they look to bounce back from midweek heartache with a trip to rock-bottom Sheffield United.
And Jose Mourinho heads to Bramall Lane with an encouraging and timely injury boost…
Speaking ahead of the encounter in his pre-match press conference, the 57-year-old revealed that he has Steven Bergwijn available for selection, having missed their last two outings in all competitions.
When asked if the Dutch winger was good to go against the Blades, he told reporters, via football.london:
“Yeah, he was ill. He was ill the week before, the week of Marine, and then he trained with the team only one day, which was the day before we played Fulham.”
Whilst this serves as hugely positive news, it does, however, hand Mourinho a fresh selection headache for that right-wing spot in his starting XI.
Against Marine, he turned to Lucas Moura, who had a pretty good game by all accounts, which was topped off by a sublime free-kick goal, but in the Fulham draw this week, Mourinho elected for a surprise pick in Moussa Sissoko on the flank.
That decision didn’t work out, as we’ve explained here, so it’ll give the Spurs boss a huge question – Moura? Erik Lamela? Gareth Bale? or Bergwijn?
Indeed, he could turn back to the Brazilian as he did not feature at all against the Cottagers, though Lamela’s return in midweek also poses an interesting option as he looked bright in a short 15-minute cameo.
Whilst Bale can’t be too far away from finally making an impact in the top-flight having started just one Premier League match since his sensational return to north London.
Meanwhile, Bergwijn is by no means guaranteed an instant return despite seemingly being the first-choice in the role.
After the win over arch-rivals Arsenal, Mourinho dubbed Bergwijn “incredible” despite failing to contribute to either of their two goals, which tells you all you need to know about the manager’s faith in him and whether or not he’s doing what’s asked of him.
It speaks volumes that Sissoko was played in the role just a few days ago even though both Lamela and Moura were available for selection, which is why Bergwijn’s return is a big boost for Mourinho and Spurs alike.
As you can see, the ‘Special One’ has plenty to mull over ahead of kick-off this afternoon.
We think the £25m Dutch winger will end up getting the nod, but don’t be surprised to see either Moura or the Argentinian start given Bergwijn’s fitness concerns.
AND in other news, £30m “disgrace” must be axed from starting XI vs Sheffield United…