Remember a million years and also just a couple hours ago when Cristian Stellini said that, apart from Hugo Lloris, all of Tottenham Hotspur’s players were available and fit to play against Leicester City?
Spurs announced on social media today that central midfielder Yves Bissouma is set to undergo surgery on his ankle, a procedure that will keep him sidelined for an indefinite period of time.
We can confirm that Yves Bissouma is to undergo surgery on Friday to repair a stress fracture to his left ankle.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 9, 2023
A timeframe for his return will be determined after surgery.
He will begin rehabilitation with our medical staff as soon as possible.
Get well soon, Yves pic.twitter.com/i5pj5lkVIG
Bissouma was spotted in a Spurs video wearing a boot and I think most people likely thought it was precautionary because nobody seemed to mention it, least of all Spurs assistant manager Stellini in his pre-match press conference today. It is very much NOT precautionary. It’s weird, because I don’t remember any specific incident that might have led to Bissouma injuring his ankle, which leads me to think it’s probably just One of Those Things™ that can happen in a game that doesn’t seem consequential at the time but actually really is.
So where to Spurs go from here? Well, thankfully Spurs have any number of Bissouma-like substances that they can turn to for relief minutes in Yves’ absence. The players most likely to benefit from Bissouma’s injury are Oliver Skipp and Pape Matar Sarr; both are young central midfielders with slightly different skillsets who could really use the minutes, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Conte rotates both of them in and out depending on whom he thinks is the better choice for tactics.
Poor Yves. He’s had kind of a rough year — it seems like he hasn’t transitioned well from Graham Potters’ tactics at Brighton to Conte’s tactics at Spurs this season, and while he did seem to be rounding into form lately, this injury comes at a bad time. Hopefully he can recover quickly from surgery and won’t miss the rest of the season.