Harry’s back! Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino held a press conference ahead of Sunday’s North London Derby match against Arsenal at the Emirates, and the biggest news is that Harry Kane is fit and could start against the Gunners.
“Today I can confirm he will be available to be selected for Sunday, and then I need to decide whether he is included in the starting XI or starts on the bench.
“We are very happy after yesterday, he had a very good training session. He’s fit.”
It’s a little difficult to state just how much Tottenham have missed Harry Kane. Since he went down with an ankle injury against West Brom, Spurs have found it difficult to score, and have looked lost without his ability not only to score goals but also to drag defenders out of position and open up passing lanes for other players.
Pochettino was very quick to state that Kane was not rushed back into action after his injury and that his reintegration into the Tottenham squad is because the trainers said that he’s ready to go.
“In the last few seasons he was very important for us. He was the top scorer in the Premier League last season and it’s always important that he’s fit, and that would be important for any club. Of course it’s very good news for us and it’s good he will be back.
“It’s not a risk. You need to understand that, after two and a half years here, we try to avoid a risk. If he’s on the pitch or on the bench it’s because we’re sure it’s not a risk to play - and then you cannot avoid all the risk because it’s a contact sport and you cannot avoid 100 per cent the risk. But if the doctor says he’s available to be selected it’s because there’s no risk about his old injury.”
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. In the same press conference, Pochettino stated that defender Toby Alderweireld and midfielder Erik Lamela are confirmed to be out of contention and will both miss the match. Mousa Dembele, who twisted an ankle in the first half of Spurs’ 1-0 Champions League loss to Bayer Leverkusen, is questionable.
“Toby has struggled a little bit to recover but it’s sure he will be available after the international break. He’s not included in the squad now. He’s very close but it was a very slow recovery, it was a very painful thing that happened. Erik is out for Sunday.
“I can say only that Mousa is a doubt and we need to assess him tomorrow and then decide. It’s not a big deal but it’s painful in his ankle.”
What does this mean for Spurs’ lineup? Possibly a lot, especially if Dembele can’t go. If Dembele is fit to start by Sunday, it’s likely we’ll see the 4-2-3-1 with Wanyama and Dembele in the double-pivot and Eriksen-Alli-Son behind either Kane or Vincent Janssen (depending on if Kane will start or not). Otherwise, a 4-1-4-1 might be the preferred formation with Wanyama as a lone destroyer in front of the back line.
But that’s all speculation. What’s more important is HARRY KANE IS BACK Y’ALL! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!