Tottenham Hotspur’s injury crisis deepened on Sunday after Dele Alli went down clutching his hamstring in the last ten minutes of Spurs’ last-gasp 2-1 win over Fulham. But the crisis at Spurs goes deeper than just missing Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min, and now Dele Alli. Spurs have been extremely thin at the central midfield position for weeks now, and while the return of Eric Dier on Sunday was welcome, it doesn’t change the fact that Spurs are in desperate need of additional reinforcements in that area.
Academy graduate Josh Onomah was shipped off to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on a season-long loan in the fall, but he has returned to the club temporarily to receive medical treatment for a hamstring condition that has kept him out of Wednesday’s side since the middle of December. Even so, when asked in a recent press conference whether he might consider recalling Joshy to help shore up Spurs’ midfield depth, Pochettino admitted that he is considering it.
“Yes [Onomah] is back here. I think it is going to be difficult but we will see in the next few weeks. We still have 13 days to decide, but he is injured. I am considering it.”
Jokes about “like a new signing” aside, Pochettino has not been averse to throwing in promising academy graduates and younger players into training or giving them a chance with the first team when needed. We’ve seen that already this season with Oliver Skipp and Juan Foyth and to a lesser extent players like George Marsh and Kazaiah Sterling. We at Cartilage Free Captain have been clamoring for Poch to give Onomah a chance at what we feel is his best position, central midfield, for a while now. Unless Spurs are willing to get their feet wet in the January transfer window, a prospect that seems less and less likely as the days tick by, this might be one way to help bridge the gap as additional players get healthy.
Joshy hasn’t exactly set Wednesday’s midfield on fire — until his injury he had been in and out of the side, bouncing between attacking midfield and a deeper playmaker role, and his performances have been, from what I’ve gathered, a little uneven. Even so, he was very good as a member of England’s 2017 U20 World Cup winning squad from a deeper position, and there’s a chance that with better players around him he could up his game a bit for Spurs.
I’m not sure how likely it is, nor do we know for how long Onomah will be out of action with his injury. It may come down to the progress of Victor Wanyama, who is back in training, and whether Spurs decide to purchase a midfielder in the transfer market. Onomah, however, appears to be at least in the back of Poch’s mind as he tries to navigate this injury crisis.