Antonio Conte has been dealt a further injury setback ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with NS Mura in the Europa Conference League this evening…
The Italian will be without three players after delivering a fresh update to reporters during his pre-game press conference over in Slovenia.
“[Dane] Scarlett in this moment is not available. During the international break he had a problem in his ankle and is not available. He’s injured in the same way like Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso,” he revealed (via football.london).
But to make matters worse, it appears the injury to the Atalanta loanee is a lot worse than first feared, handing the 52-year-old a crushing long-term blow.
On Romero’s absence, he then added: “We are waiting for another scan. I think his injury is a bit serious and we have to wait. It’s an injury that is more serious that Lo Celso and Scarlett.”
So not only will Conte be without Romero for the foreseeable future but he is also without two players that would’ve most likely earned some minutes on the pitch in an encounter like this one in young striker Dane Scarlett and attacking midfielder. Lo Celso.
This update will surely leave the Spurs boss absolutely gutted, if not slightly annoyed and frustrated by the international break because three members of his first-team squad are now on the treatment table.
And one of his key starters in Romero is now facing a serious stint out.
Indeed, the Argentina international started both of Conte’s first two games in charge, making 12 starts across all competitions this term but now the manager is going to be light on options in defence – a big worry because of his three-at-the-back system.
The fact that Conte believes it is ‘more serious’ is a huge cause for concern right now.
Meanwhile, Lo Celso has found it hard to pick up regular minutes for the club this campaign but has featured regularly in Europe, starting four times when fit. He would have certainly been in line to lessen the burden on some of the usual starters, who will be feeling the effects of Conte’s fitness work in recent weeks.
Similarly, Scarlett is really the only alternative to Harry Kane upfront, so the England talisman may no longer be able to be rested with the teenager out injured, thus for all of the reasons mentioned above, it makes it a very frustrating and significant blow to Conte ahead of kick-off.
He’ll need to be a little wary with team selection as his side face a tough trip to Burnley on Sunday afternoon but with three players missing, that task isn’t going to be an easy one.
AND in other news, Conte could repeat Cesc Fabregas trick with “unplayable” Spurs dynamo…