Tottenham Hotspur have been handed another injury setback as their quest to go one better in the Carabao Cup gets underway this evening…
Nuno Santo and his side head to his old stomping ground, Molineux, to face Wolverhampton Wanderers for the second time in a month but he will do so without one of his key first-team stars.
Brazilian winger Lucas Moura has been ruled out for the EFL Cup clash and is even doubtful for this weekend’s north London derby, handing the Portuguese head coach a fresh and massive blow.
That’s according to The Athletic, who have provided an update on the 29-year-old and his current situation.
Moura was withdrawn during Spurs’ 2-2 draw with Rennes in the UEFA Europa Conference League last week and then missed Sunday’s league defeat to local rivals Chelsea.
Speaking to reporters ahead of kick-off, Nuno said: “Unfortunately they [Moura and Steven Bergwijn] will not be with us.”
The £22.5m-rated dynamo was certainly in contention to not only start tonight but also against the Gunners this weekend.
Once described as “a nightmare” to train against by centre-back and teammate Eric Dier, Moura would have provided pace and directness to Nuno’s attack, something that he is in desperate need for with his Spurs side sat rock-bottom of the xG charts.
He has started three of four Premier League appearances so far this campaign, so his absence – along with the blow to Bergwijn – certainly leaves the Portuguese manager a little light on options.
It also massively dents his choices from the bench, particularly when he needs to turn to someone to change a game and a player like Moura can certainly do that with the qualities he has on offer.
Currently, WhoScored rank the Brazil international as Spurs’ best-rated player for the season (7.09) – even ahead of top goalscorer Heung-min Son and the industrious Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, which only emphasises his importance to Nuno.
Moura has contributed at either end of the pitch, averaging 2.3 tackles, 2.5 dribbles and 1.5 shots per game, via WhoScored, proving to be a tireless player on that right flank.
On the above evidence, Nuno will be gutted by this latest setback, especially with other first-team stars like Bergwijn and Ryan Sessegnon also on the treatment table.