Tottenham concluded their pre-season campaign yesterday evening at Wembley with a 2-0 win over Italian champions Juventus. But unfortunately as good as the performance was the victory did come at a price as Kieran Trippier came off injured and left the ground in a protective boot while on crutches.
When you take into account that Kyle Walker has made a much publicised move to Manchester City and Trippier was set to be the heir apparent to fill the vacant right back berth then this injury could not have come at a worse time, add the fact that Spurs are still yet to sign anyone and you can imagine the furore this has caused on social media.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino said after the game that “We hope it’s not a big issue. It’s his ankle, “He’s better now than he was at half-time, but we must wait.” But without being pessimistic you would have to assume that he will miss next Sunday’s trip to Newcastle.
So with that in mind just what options does the Argentine have going into the season opener at St James’ Park – I’ll run through the most likely and the slightly left field choices that he has.
Buy a new right back
Questions were always going to be asked as to whether or not Tottenham were going to enter the market, to not necessarily replace Walker but to give competition to Trippier instead. Obviously a new signing has not been forthcoming as yet but will the injury to the former Burnley man now mean that the North London outfit step up the hunt for a new addition.
Even if they do though it is unlikely that they can sign a player and throw him straight into the team within the space seven days, that said it is not an impossible outcome but it does seem like Spurs may have to make do with what few options they have.
Come the end of the month we will know the answer to the above question once for all in regards to a new right back joining Tottenham, but it is something that could already be answered due to the fact that they already have Kyle Walker-Peters waiting in the wings.
Walker-Peters was a member of the England Under 20 World Cup winning squad and Mauricio Pochettino has already gone on record and said that the youngster will be given more opportunities this season, he came on in replacement for Trippier yesterday and could now be thrust into the limelight.
Should Pochettino not want to start with Walker-Perters then he could make a slightly left field decision in utilising Moussa Sissoko in the right wing back berth. The French international has played in an advanced role for his country out wide and could possibly do a slightly more defensive job against his former club.
What with the possibility of Tottenham once again going with a back three it would give Sissoko an opportunity to get forward and would not be the most outlandish of suggestions. Whether Twitter can take the strain if it does happen though remains to be seen.
Toby Alderweireld or Eric Dier
Another option although this could depend on them switching to a flat back four and utilsiing one of these two players in a right back role. Both have played there before and although by no means a favoured position it is not one that is totally alien to them either.
On the balance of probabilities if you had to choose one to take that berth then you would probably go with Eric Dier as then you risk losing the effective centre back partnership that the two Belgian’s Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have formed.
Like I saw this option is bottom of the list but could be used depending on what shape they start off with against Newcastle. So there are the choices available, the preference of course would be to see Trippier fit but if I was betting man then I would be not too confident of that.
But to end on a good note, here are the goals from yesterday’s friendly