Tottenham Hotspur have today confirmed that Dele Alli will be out until March with a hamstring injury. He joins Moussa Sissoko, Harry Kane and Victor Wanyama on the sidelines. With Heung Min-Son away at the Asia Cup, another injury to a major star is not what Spurs need right now.
Wanyama has been out for some time but the injuries to Kane, Sissoko and Alli beg the question of whether another Spurs injury is unfortunate or down to little rest for Spurs’ star players.
Dele Alli Out Until March – Another Spurs Injury
Moussa Sissoko has played 26 games for Spurs this season, while Harry Kane has played 36 and Dele Alli 28 games. You want your best players to play as much as possible. You also need to have strength in depth to ensure those best players are kept fit. With Harry Kane, he was caught by a tackle that caused ligament damage and, that, you cannot compensate for. Hamstring injuries, such as those suffered by both Sissoko and Alli, tend be caused when either the player doesn’t warm up properly or has simply had too much game time without a rest.
Strength in Depth
Sissoko, Alli and Kane have had little time to rest from football since the end of last season. Christian Eriksen, a stomach injury aside, has also been used in more games than he has not. In the modern game, rotation is inevitable. If you don’t have the players to rotate with when injuries arise, you can only look to your youth players. At Tottenham, youth players are nurtured and Mauricio Pochettino isn’t afraid to throw them in at the deep end. Harry Winks is a fine example of youth succeeding and his winner against Fulham further proved that. However, can Spurs cope with another star player missing?
Transfer Failings or Academy Confidence?
John McDermott, the head of coaching and player development, and Pochettino have a close relationship. They are known to talk on a daily basis and Pochettino is always asking who might be ready to make the next step. The confidence in the academy is positive, which suggest why many young players sign long-term contracts with the club.
But have Spurs got enough in depth of quality to overcome a second leg semi-final against Chelsea, a Last 16 Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund and Premier League games to cement their top four status, though?
Time to Rise?
Oliver Skipp and Kaziah Sterling are both likely to be called on in the coming weeks to show their promise and maybe show they are the next stars. Troy Parrott is about to turn 17 and many believe he can be a strong back up to Kane in time.
Yet, with the final few months of the season approaching and Spurs aiming for silverware on more than one front, could the decision to not enter the transfer window become a less than wise decision?
Only time will tell but the loss of Alli on top of Kane and Sissoko, and with Son still away, begs the question as to whether Spurs need to, for once, take a risk and dip their toes into the transfer market. Not doing so might just be the biggest risk that the club has taken since Pochettino took charge.
If there was ever a time for Spurs to live by their motto, it is now. To dare, after all, is to do.