I know the only thing you want to hear from me right now is good news, so I have some. This is courtesy of Sami Mokbel, the GOOD reporter at the Daily Mail, who is reporting that Tottenham Hotspur central defender Eric Dier is set to return to first team training this week, and he could even be in line to play in Saturday’s match at Manchester City.
However, the Sami giveth and the Sami taketh away — Oliver Skipp is having some setbacks with his thigh injury, meaning he’s already ruled out of this weekend’s match, and it’s an open question when we might see him come back into the squad.
Having Dier back in the squad would almost instantly make Tottenham better. Not only does Dier defend well in the center of Tottenham’s back three, but doing so allows Cuti Romero to shift to a more favorable position as a right sided center back. That right side of the pitch has been a capital-P problem over the past few matches, but having Romero there could alleviate some of those issues. That’s the hope, anyway, and at this point we kind of need something hopeful to hold onto when preparing to play the presumptive Premier League champions at their place.
Skippy’s issue though is a concern. The barest hints that we get from this article make it sound like whatever is going on with Oliver is probably a muscular or tissue injury, and probably something that will just take time and rest to heal fully. Those can be super frustrating, especially because if that’s the case there’s not really anything that the player or the medical staff can do except wait and hope. I don’t know if this is the case or not, but that’s what the tea leaves look like.
Skippy’s injury means that Spurs still only have three healthy true central midfielders to call upon — Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Harry Winks. With games still coming thick and fast, it likely means that we’ll be seeing a lot of all three, and another injury could see Antonio Conte turn to either a positionally flexible player like Dejan Kulusevski in the pivot, or a youngster like Harvey White. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.