In recent comments cited by the Evening Standard, Antonio Conte revealed that Rodrigo Bentancur will be unavailable for selection for the visit of Villa on Sunday afternoon, as the central midfielder is set to undergo an MRI scan in order to determine the seriousness of a thigh injury the 25-year-old picked up on international duty with Uruguay at the Qatar World Cup.
Concerning the current condition of Bentancur, the 53-year-old manager said: “Rodrigo I think we have to wait. Maybe today he’s going to have an MRI to try to have an evaluation about his injury. But for sure against Aston Villa, he’s not available.”
Considering just how impressive Bentancur has been in the heart of the Tottenham Hotspur midfield so far this season, the news that the Uruguayan will be unavailable for selection against Villa – and potentially for a considerable while longer – will undoubtedly have come as a huge blow to Conte and his side.
Indeed, over his 14 Premier League appearances in the current campaign, the £62m-rated talent has been in exceptional form going forwards, having already scored four goals and registered two assists, as well as taking an average of 0.9 shots, making 0.6 key passes and completing 1.3 dribbles – at a success rate of 54% – per game.
The £75k-per-week midfielder has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 2.6 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and winning 5.1 duels – at a success rate of 54% – per fixture, in addition to enjoying an average of 64.1 touches, playing 1.6 long balls and completing 42.1 total passes – at a success rate of 86% – per outing.
These returns have seen the 25-year-old average a simply sensational Sofascore match rating of 7.27, not only ranking him as Conte’s second-best performer in the league but also as the 17th-best player in the top flight of English football as a whole so far this season.
As such, it is clear for all to see that the news that the 54-cap international will be unavailable for the meeting with Villa is undoubtedly terrible for Conte and his side, as Bentancur is not only one of Spurs’ most talented players but also one of the best midfielders in the Premier League in its entirety.