Former Arsenal man tips Tottenham to struggle with ‘outstanding signing’ sidelined for months

Ciaran McCarthy
Ange Postecoglou, Tottenham, August 2023

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has described Tottenham man Micky van de Ven as an “outstanding signing” and feels his loss as well as that of James Maddison is “really significant”.

That Van de Ven and Maddison are two of the best players in the Spurs side was evident when they were on the pitch. Both have featured in various teams of the season so far.

What’s more, Tottenham were top before their 4-1 loss to Chelsea, in which both men were injured. They’ve since slipped to fourth after a loss against Wolves, with both men sidelined for months, further highlighting their importance.

After two losses on the trot and without their star pair, Keown feels Spurs could be vulnerable against Aston Villa, and could especially feel Van de Ven’s loss.

“Can they [Aston Villa] take advantage of the issues at Spurs right now? Two new central defenders coming in, [Ben] Davies and [Eric] Dier,” Keown said on talkSPORT.

“I thought Van de Ven was a really outstanding signing this summer. Really quick, pacy, left-footed. And that partnership with [Cristian] Romero was really impressive. It was one of the best partnerships in the Premier League.

“To lose those two central defenders and your playmaker is really significant.”

Indeed, Romero is also out, as he’s serving a ban for receiving a red card against Chelsea. Keown therefore feels Aston Villa can shock Tottenham, as he praised the work Unai Emery has done with them.

“[Villa] have an opportunity. Villa could do that with the system they play. [They are] difficult to play against. Emery has got that down to a fine tee. [John] McGinn has been magnificent, Ollie Watkins can’t stop scoring.

Indeed, the Villans have scored the most goals in the Premier League other than Manchester City this season, and are currently fifth.

A win over Spurs would see them leapfrog them for fourth place, and potentially climb higher up the table depending on other results. The way they are playing at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why they can’t.

However, they play Tottenham away from home, and Villa’s home form has been far greater than it has on the road this season, where they have suffered a couple of big defeats.

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