Outside of my office at my day job, there’s a fire extinguisher. Etched on it in big red lettering are words that are so true for Tottenham Hotspur this morning:
“Break Glass In Case of Emergency.”
Well, it’s emergency time with the news dropping this morning that Son Heung-Min needs surgery to repair a fracture in his right arm. The injury can be attributed to an early challenge in the 3-2 victory against Aston Villa. Amazingly, he played that entire match and managed to score a brace through the pain. It’s a testament to him and his dedication, but now that’s lost for at least a couple of months along with his pace and scoring.
Harry Kane is continuing rehab but the club have been operating as if he won’t be back this season. Sonny joins that list now, which leaves Spurs rather thin up top. It might feel like doom and gloom. Hell, it probably is at this point. Still, Spurs have three months left in this season and if there was ever a time for José Mourinho to pull out some black magic, now is the time.
So what options does Tottenham have? Let’s talk about that.
Option #1: Lucas Moura at striker
This is the most obvious choice of the group. Lucas is not a striker, but it’s not like he hasn’t played there before. Mourinho will almost certainly put the Brazilian at the top of the formation tomorrow against RB Leipzig. I’d be stunned if it were anything else.
Option #2: Dele plays the false nine
It’s clear how highly Mourinho rates Dele, likening him to Frank Lampard in the hybrid 8/10 role. Dele in a 4-3-3 false nine could work. Surrounding him on the wings with Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela and Ryan Sessegnon provides enough pace and dribbling ability where Dele can be in that role to support the attack. Is it ideal? Probably not, but don’t be shocked if we see this.
Option #3: Steven Bergiwjn at striker
Bergwijn played in all four spots of the attacking band at PSV. It’s one of the big reasons why Spurs paid the cash to get him in January, and thank the gods above that the club did. He’s been pretty brilliant since joining the club, and there’s little doubt in my mind that we’re going to see this at some point. The problem with this option is that Bergwijn’s start at CF for PSV were basically all in Europa League and a couple of matches against bottom feeders in the Eredivise. He didn’t score in any of those matches, though he picked up a couple of assists. This seems like a bad choice, but with options limited? It’s on the docket.
Option #4: Dele at striker
Simply put, Dele may have to step up into the CF role. He’s said before he’s not a striker and is an attacking midfielder through and through. Nobody’s going to argue that point, but there are moments where a player has to adapt to change. This is one of those moments, and Dele up top at least makes some sense. I’m just not going to expect this unless we see another injury.
Option #5: Unleash Troy Parrott
18-year-old Troy Parrott was this close to going out on loan, but some funky rules kept him at home. Mourinho is extremely high on the Irish International, but has downplayed involvement in the first team, simply saying he’s not ready for the big stage yet. There is going to be a contingent of supporters calling for Mourinho to give Parrott his chance, but Mourinho is almost certainly correct that it’s best to exhaust every other option possible before this is even considered.
Option #6: Peter Crouch comes out of retirement.
We needed some humor with this, so I present this without further comment:
So there you have it. Tottenham have some options and are almost certainly going to go through these one by one, though possibly not in the order I’ve presented them. If Spurs get one of these to stick, they can stop the bleeding and keep on trucking in this campaign.
They just need to get it right sooner rather than later.