It looks like our first instinct was correct concerning Mousa Dembele. Just a couple of days after Belgium manager Roberto Martinez left Dembele and Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany out of the Red Devils’ lineup for a friendly match against the Netherlands, today the Mail says that Spurs’ midfielder has returned to Tottenham with what is being described as a “soft tissue problem” and will miss Belgium’s World Cup Qualifier against Estonia.
Martinez confirmed the departure in quotes given to the Belgian media:
'We have allowed Mousa to go back to Tottenham. Not for a serious problem but he wasn't 100 per cent of the game.
'We have been in constant contact with Tottenham's medical department and we think he will make improvement in the next 48 hours.'
What’s a soft tissue problem? Essentially it’s either ligaments, tendons or muscle, so we can probably assume that Moose tweaked something in training with Belgium. Thankfully, the Mail says that it’s a minor issue and that Moose is expected to make a full recovery by the time Spurs play West Ham next weekend.
There’s no real reason to doubt Martinez’s version of the story here, though the timing makes it sound just ever so slightly like Dembele might have picked up the International Break Flu. Either way, if you’re an international football cynic like I am this is good news for Spurs: Moose gets to rest and recuperate instead of playing two matches this week and should be ready in time to (hopefully) crush the hammers next