Postecoglou confirms two more injury concerns as Spurs deal with ‘issues’ after international break

Jason Soutar
Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou hugs Pape Matar Sarr.
Ange Postecoglou hugs Pape Matar Sarr.

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has confirmed two more injury worries ahead of his side’s return to Premier League action against Aston Villa.

Postecoglou is dealing with a lot of injuries at the moment, which has curtailed his incredible start to life in north London.

Summer signings Micky van de Ven are not expected to return until 2024 and the former Celtic manager has confirmed that 18-year-old defender Ashley Phillips and Pape Matar Sarr returned from international duty with injuries.

“Micky and Madders, no real update,” Postecoglou told reporters on Friday.

“We’ve had a couple of issues out of the international break. Phillips picked up an ankle injury and is out for a little while, perhaps a month out.

“Checking with Sarr, who has an issue. See how he is tomorrow, he didn’t train today.”

Should Sarr be absent for the visit of Aston Villa, it could present an opportunity for Oliver Skipp.

“Skippy has been working hard at training,” Postecoglou said. “He stayed back with us and did a lot of good work last couple of weeks.

“He’s working hard and waiting for the opportunity.”

READ MORE: Son shines, Darwin scores three: How every Premier League player on international duty fared

The direct replacement in the starting XI would likely be Rodrigo Bentancur, however.

The former Juventus midfielder has only just returned from an ACL injury and played in both of Uruguay’s matches during the international break, getting 28 minutes against Argentina before playing 86 minutes at home to Bolivia.

Postecoglou is aware of Bentancur’s ability as a deep-lying midfielder but insists he can play “further forward”.

The Australian head coach said: “I think he can play a couple of different areas. He can play as a No.6 or further forward as a No.8.”

Asked if he would be better playing in the No. 6 role as he looks to regain fitness, Big Ange replied: “Yeah, potentially. It’s probably why Marcelo [Bielsa] probably used him like that for Uruguay.

“He did it really well and he can play there.”

Hosting  Villa will be a huge test for Spurs, who have lost two games in a row after going unbeaten in their opening ten Premier League fixtures.

Spurs are now fourth in the table, one point above Unai Emery’s men, and Postecoglou has praised the Villans head coach ahead of the clash.

“They’ve been good since Unai went there.,” he said. “Consistent with the way they play football and over recent weeks scored goals and got belief.

“It’s going to be a great test for us.”

Big Weekend: Man City v Liverpool, Everton backlash, Aaron Ramsdale, Postecoglou