The mantra of every Tottenham Hotspur fan during international breaks (and there have been a LOT of them this season) is this: Don’t get injured. That’s even more the case now, as Spurs are frightfully thin at certain spots in the squad. The bad news is that according to reports Son Heung-Min and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg have both picked up minor injuries while on international duty with South Korea and Denmark, respectively.
The good news, however, is that at least one of them isn’t anything to worry about.
First, there’s Sonny, who had a knock during training and who has been held out as a precaution. But Steve Han, the pre-eminent English language journalist covering the Korean national team, has pretty clearly stated that Spurs fans don’t need to get their knickers in a twist over it.
This tweet seems to have caused some panic attack amongst Tottenham fans. I said “minor knock,” people He’s fine and he’ll return to team training on Sunday. If anything, it’s Kim Min-jae’s muscle injury that needs more careful monitoring until matchday.— Steve Han • 한만성 (@realstevescores) November 13, 2021
Son is fine. Relax https://t.co/VlPXyBS5tX
That’s good! Korea has a very important World Cup qualifier at Iraq tomorrow morning, and by all accounts Sonny’s going to be ready to play in that. Which brings us back to our mantra: Don’t get injured.
The other injury to Højbjerg turns out to be a pre-existing one — a knock sustained in Spurs’ 0-0 draw at Everton that resulted in a red card for Mason Holgate. But again, according to Alasdair Gold in football.london, it’s potentially something to keep an eye on.
“As for Hojbjerg, it’s the injury he picked up before the break, thanks to the tackle from Mason Holgate, that saw the Everton man sent off.
“He was due to miss Denmark’s match against the Faroe Islands but they were hopeful before that match that he might be ok to face Scotland, which is why he still joined up with the squad. However, he has now been ruled out of the second game as well. Hopefully it’s precautionary as Denmark have already qualified for the World Cup as Tottenham will not want to be without him and the suspended Oliver Skipp.”
The bit about Skipp is something worth considering — Skippy picked up his fifth yellow against Everton and will be suspended for Spurs’ next match vs. Leeds next weekend. But even if Pierre can’t go and Antonio Conte is forced to play without a “true” holding midfielder, that might provide some opportunities for players like Tanguy Ndombele, Gio Lo Celso, and Dele to slot into midfield. Honestly, that sounds like an exciting prospect to me, as I’m pretty desperate for all three of them to show what they can do and silence their critics after two weeks of working with Conte’s tactics. Besides, Pierre needs the rest anyway before his legs fall off.
It’s going to be pretty exciting to see what changes (if any) Conte makes at home to Leeds on Sunday. The status of Sonny and Højbjerg might make a pretty large impact on what we see.