Tottenham icon claims ‘we’d be top of the league’ if not for four injuries ‘at key moments’

Jason Soutar
Tottenham players James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma
Tottenham players James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma

Former Premier League striker Jermain Defoe believes Tottenham would “be top of the league” if they did not suffer injuries to four key players.

Tottenham are fifth in the Premier League after 32 matches, losing 4-0 away to Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.

Spurs would be top of Premier League if not for injuries – Defoe

They started the season very strongly under Ange Postecoglou and many tipped them to challenge for the title.

That has not been the case, though, with Postecoglou’s side fighting for a Champions League spot with Aston Villa.

Regardless, it has still been a great campaign for the north Londoners after a woeful 2022/23.

It would have been a lot better if not for injuries to Micky van de Ven, James Maddison Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma, according to ex-Spurs striker Defoe.

“The Premier League’s toughest league in the world and it’s such a long season, you’re going to get ups and downs,” he told the Daily Star.

“But I still think for me Tottenham are one of the most exciting [teams] to watch and if we didn’t have those injuries at key moments to Van den Ven and Maddison, Sarr and Bissouma, we’d be top of the league.”

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Defoe also waxed lyrical about how exciting Spurs are to watch under Postecoglou.

“Without being biased, I think Tottenham are probably one of the most exciting teams to watch and I’m not only saying it because I played for the club for nine years,” he added.

“Tottenham for me, the structure in possession and the full-backs playing so high and have this courage and the ability to do that and create so many chances, it’s amazing to see and watch that.”

Newcastle smash Tottenham

Defoe did say all of this before Spurs were smashed 4-0 by Newcastle at St James’ Park.

Eddie Howe’s side went into the fixture with so many injuries and the former Bournemouth boss was forced to play Emil Krafth and Jacob Murphy in defence.

Despite the Magpies’ injury issues, they blew Spurs away with some thanks to Micky van de Ven, who had his worst game in the Premier League to date.

Alexander Isak opened the scoring as Van de Ven ate grass, two minutes before Anthony Gordon made it 2-0.

Isak grabbed his second of the game in the second half and Fabian Schar put the cherry on top with a late header.

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