Tottenham Hotspur will still be without Steven Bergwijn this weekend, according to reports…
football.london claim that the 23-year-old winger is “unlikely” to feature in Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal in the Premier League.
The 13-cap Dutch star missed the midweek trip to Wolves, where Spurs boss Nuno Santo revealed the extent of the injury he picked up during their 2-2 draw with Rennes in the UEFA Europa Conference League last week.
The manager revealed: “He has an injury on his foot, a sprain, he twisted his ankle. It’s very, very painful and the decision was to protect his foot and at the same time keep doing upper body workouts and try to maintain as fit as possible.”
Lilywhites insider John Wenham has since provided a further verdict on the situation, claiming that it is a “massive blow” to Spurs and that the first-choice right winger is likely to be out for over a month.
“When you see a protective boot, you are really looking at a month on the sidelines minimum,” he told Football Insider. “For us, that is a huge blow. You only have to look at our bench against Chelsea.”
Indeed, with Lucas Moura also facing time on the sidelines, it is a gutting setback for Nuno and Spurs, especially ahead of such a huge occasion.
Bergwijn may not have set the world alight this season but his importance to the Portuguese head coach must not be understated as he started their opening three league games, in which they recorded successive 1-0 victories.
In his absence, the north Londoners are yet to win, having registered back-to-back 3-0 defeats in the league to Crystal Palace and Chelsea. It may be a mere coincidence but the £19.8m-rated dynamo does a lot more than just provide goals.
Despite not playing in their last two outings, Bergwijn is currently Nuno’s most creative option in the squad, having averaged 1.3 key passes per game, via WhoScored. He has also managed an average of 1.3 dribbles and 2.3 shots, which actually more than Harry Kane at the moment.
Earlier this week, The Athletic revealed that Spurs had the lowest expected goals (4.42 xG) of any team in the English top-flight, even lower than the likes of Norwich City and Burnley in the relegation zone.
Nuno’s side has also recorded the second-fewest shots and created only two big chances from those opening five games, so for Tottenham not to have one of their most creative outlets available is certainly a killer blow.
It should leave the Portuguese coach extremely worried heading into the derby, even more so with the Gunners back in form.
AND in other news, Spurs fans will be furious as major Fabio Paratici claim emerges…