Hoo boy. If you’re a Tottenham Hotspur senior player right now, you’d be forgiven for hiding in the nearest bomb shelter the way players have started dropping. The latest to do so is attacking midfielder James Maddison:
We can confirm that James Maddison has been withdrawn from the England squad due to an ankle injury.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 10, 2023
The midfielder will not feature in the Three Lions' UEFA EURO 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia, and will remain at Hotspur Way for rehabilitation with the Club's… pic.twitter.com/Y4WelJrcbO
Maddison was substituted early on in the loss to Chelsea. Some thought that the substitution may have been a combination of precaution and an assessment of the state of play; essentially, he’d come into the match 50-50 and there was no point risking him further in what was rapidly becoming an uphill battle. We knew Maddison had been carrying a knock to his ankle for a fair chunk of the season, and Ange had been managing minutes carefully.
Unfortunately, in this case it seems the substitution was indeed injury enforced, and that the injury was potentially worse than predicted. As Maddison was named to the England squad, it was again assumed he was just carrying a light knock, but withdrawing from international duty does imply that the injury could be more severe, and the Spurs #10 is therefore likely to miss at least tomorrow’s match against Wolves. Multiple sources are supporting this more negative prognosis, with Mokbel, Romano, and Law all declaring Spurs are expecting “a long lay-off”, and certain sources giving an estimate of 1-3 months due to ligament damage.
This is a huge blow for Spurs. They are already thin on the ground due to injuries and suspensions, though midfield is not an especially thin position at this point in time; but no matter your depth, losing one of the best players in the Premier League so far this season is gonna hurt. The real question will be how much, and how can Ange and the team weather this new challenge?
Giovani Lo Celso redemption arc, anyone?