Who’s ready for an injury crisis before the season even kicks off? There are reports out of Los Angeles this morning that Tottenham Hotspur midfielders Victor Wanyama and Tashan Oakley-Boothe, both of whom picked up injuries in the United States before Spurs’ first International Champions Cup match against Roma, have now flown home to London in order to begin treatment.
That’s not great.
Add to that the knock that Erik Lamela picked up that caused him to also miss the penalty shootout loss to Barcelona last night, Moussa Sissoko’s apparent hamstring injury in the first half vs. Barca, and the fact that Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele, and Dele are still resting after the World Cup, and you’re looking at the possibility that Spurs could be rolling with a central midfield tandem of Luke Amos and Oliver Skipp vs. AC Milan on Tuesday.
At some level, it’s fine. It’s the preseason, it’s a chance for Skippy and Luke to impress, none of it really matters, whatever. It gets scary if you extrapolate out to Spurs’ first Premier League match at Newcastle on August 11.
Obviously we don’t know the extent of any of the injuries, but the Wanyama one is especially concerning, particularly due to the fact that the club thought it necessary to send both him and Oakley-Boothe home. Harry Winks is still recovering from ankle surgery and isn’t likely to be match fit for a while. Dier and Dele won’t report until five days before the Newcastle match. Mauricio Pochettino called Moussa Sissoko’s injury “minor” in a press conference, but we all know that Poch isn’t always truthful when it comes to injury reporting (and, if we’re looking to Sissoko as a midfield savior, we’re truly boned).
Hell, even Josh Onomah was left home to recover from a knee injury.
I don’t want to be alarmist, but I will: this is pretty alarming, especially right before the start of the season. It would also seem to highlight the fairly desperate need for another central midfielder (o hai kovacic) before the close of the transfer window.
I don’t know what Poch will do against Milan on Tuesday, and at some level that doesn’t matter. But Spurs need to hope that some players either heal up quickly or players like Christian Eriksen are willing to deputize in the middle of the pitch, or the start of the season could get super ugly.