Tottenham Hotspur have been plunged into a hugely concerning defensive crisis, with Micky van de Ven set for an extended spell on the sidelines.
The 22-year-old tore his hamstring after engaging in a foot race for a loose ball with Nicolas Jackson in Tottenham’s dramatic 4-1 defeat to Chelsea on Monday night.
The positive news for the club and the fans is that initial assessments indicate surgery will not be required, eliminating the possibility of a lengthy spell in the hospital.
Van de Ven will undertake rehabilitation with the club’s medical staff. But in the meantime, Ange Postecoglou will need to restructure his backline in his absence.
Tottenham forked out £34.5 million to snap up Van de Ven from Wolfsburg during the summer transfer window, and he has proven a value-for-money acquisition since making his debut.
He has played every minute of Premier League football for Postecoglou’s side, establishing a formidable partnership with Cristian Romero in the heart of the defence.
Van de Ven has contributed to Tottenham’s exceptional start to the 2023/24 campaign, helping to keep four clean sheets in 11 appearances. He also averages 5.4 ball recoveries and 1.6 tackles per match.
Tottenham will have to do without the impressive Dutchman for at least the next couple of weeks, while they will also be without Romero for the next three games.
The Argentine centre-back was shown a straight red card in the defeat to Chelsea following an overly ambitious shin-high tackle on countryman Enzo Fernandez.
Left-back Destiny Udogie will also miss the weekend trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers, serving a one-match ban after being sent off for two bookable offences against Chelsea.
Ashley Phillips, who joined Spurs from Blackburn Rovers this summer, could make his debut alongside Eric Dier in the heart of the defence.
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