There were a number of injury-related surprises ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, and while the Premier League debut of third string keeper Paulo Gazzaniga was perhaps the biggest one, close behind was the revelation that Dele Alli is set to miss some time due to injury.
Dele, who scored a brace in the Champions League midweek, was revealed by Mauricio Pochettino in a post-match press conference to have a small problem with his hamstring and was ruled out of today’s match, as well as the upcoming England friendlies against Germany and Brazil.
“Dele Alli, against Manchester United he felt in his tendon, in his posterior, close to his hamstring. Then he played 90 minutes against Real Madrid. It's a very small thing, but was a massive risk today to play. We're sure he will be ready for Arsenal. We hope that it's all going well in the next few weeks and will be available.”
Dele’s absence from Gareth Southgate’s England squad was confirmed by the national team’s twitter feed earlier today.
Southgate had called up six Tottenham players to his squad, but he could be without more Spurs players than just Dele. There are also questions about Harry Winks and Harry Kane, both of whom started in today’s win but who also seem to pick up knocks. Winks was subbed off at halftime after twisting his ankle, and Kane lasted until the 74th minute.
Here’s Poch on Winksy potentially missing another England cap:
“He twisted his ankle in the first half. It's a little bit painful now. We must assess him of course with our medical staff, with the national team staff as well. He's so excited to meet up with England and sure that he's going to meet them. Now it's about the medical staff from both sides to assess the player and take a decision.
“I don't know [if he’ll join up with England]. I promise you I don't know. Now it's about him and the medical staff from both sides.”
Kane’s prognosis seems to be better, but Poch hinted at concerns about whether Kane should play for England in two dead-rubber friendlies next week.
“Yes, I think [Kane] was out because we wanted in that moment after 75 minutes to protect him, after our last game against Real Madrid, the condition that he played, it was such an emotional match. It's always better to avoid risk. Yes, he's ok and I'm sure he's going away to be with the national team and now trust that all is going well with them...
“It's such a difficult situation for everyone. We are focused on our problems and our interests and for the national team I understand completely what they want and what they need, and for the player too. The most important too maybe. I'm sure that the national teams all understand the situations of our players and they will help them to be fit for their next game here otherwise it will be very tough, with the Christmas period, tough for the players.
“But that is the competition that you can't do too much, only have good communication and a very good relationship with all the national teams and try to explain the situation with everyone and trust that they can manage it in a very good way for the best of the player, the team and the national team.”
Once on the verge of health, Spurs appear to be closer to a hospital ward now, with Toby Alderweireld and Hugo Lloris already out for a while, Michel Vorm twisting his knee, and now questions regarding Dele, Harry Winks, and even Kane. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the international break for once is coming at exactly the right time.