Spurs fans were all hopeful that defender Toby Alderweireld would be back from his injury after the international break, but it appears that’s no longer the case. Mauricio Pochettino, in an interview ahead of Saturday’s match against West Ham at White Hart Lane, has confirmed that the big Belgian will not feature against the Hammers.
Ben Davies being out was more or less expected — his ankle injury was such that the club had already suggested he would be out until at least early December. However, Alderweireld and Erik Lamela’s absence will continue to be keenly felt. Toby is perhaps the key absence for Spurs over the past month, as his absence has resulted in Eric Dier moving back into central defense and a cascading effect on the way Spurs play overall.
Still, if you want a chaser of good news after this announcement, we have one. Pochettino says that Toby is close to a return, and could return next week. That said, we’ve been hearing that for weeks now, and I’m to the point where I’ll believe it when I actually see him on the field.
The other good news is Dele Alli is close to a return and could come back as soon as Spurs’ midweek Champions League trip to Monaco.
#thfc Poch says Toby could be ready to play in a week or 10 days. Lamela & Davies longer. Alli will play Tuesday vs ASM if not Saturday.— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) November 17, 2016
The fact that the other players on Spurs’ injury list are available against West Ham suggest that many of the reports of injuries to Spurs players were either overblown or the result of clubs being suuuuuuper careful with their international players. Call it the “international break flu” or whatever you want, but knowing players like Vincent Janssen, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen, and Son Heung-Min are fine certainly helps my peace of mind come Saturday.