After suffering another blow this international break, Tottenham Hotspur boss Nuno Santo may have to turn to an unlikely figure for the very first time this season…
It adds to the Portuguese’s worst nightmare after Steven Bergwijn also picked up a knock, whilst Heung-min Son is also a doubt for Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
The Lilywhites will definitely be without South American trio Giovani Lo Celso, Davinson Sanchez and Cristian Romero, with the trio in quarantine in Croatia before returning to the UK.
It means Nuno could well be forced into a change in midfield, something he would’ve probably not wanted to do, given Spurs’ unbeaten start to life in the top-flight this season.
With Lo Celso and Skipp potentially both absent, the 47-year-old’s hands may be tied and as such, he could well have to call upon the unseen Tanguy Ndombele for the very first time this season, just a few weeks after he expressed his desire to leave the club.
We’ve seen a mixed bag of form from the 24-year-old dynamo since his arrival in the summer of 2019 – on his day, he’s the most technically gifted at the club and as Joe Hart once described, he can be “unplayable“.
However, these performances have been far and few between, having only contributed eight goals and eight assists across 75 appearances, managing a direct contribution every 267 minutes – or once every three matches.
Spurs need to see a lot more from a player that they invested £55m on and in their desperate time of need, he could be offered a lifeline to get his career in north London back on track.
Whether he rises to the occasion or is even selected remains to be seen, but it would make sense for the £36m-rated midfielder to make his first bow this season at Selhurst Park.