New shattering blow: Tottenham star man ruled out of showdown v Juventus
By Richard Parks
Toby Alderweireld has been ruled out of Tottenham’s Champions League last-16 second leg clash against Juventus in a shattering blow to the club.
Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that the Belgium international will not have recovered from the fresh hamstring injury he sustained in training last Thursday for the club’s biggest match of the season.
“He is still not participating with the group,” Pochettino said, as quoted by the Irish Times, when asked about Alderweireld’s prospects for the Wembley leg of the last-16 tie, which is finely poised at 2-2. “The answer is clear.”
The centre-back, 28, had only recently recovered from a hamstring tear which had sidelined him for three months and the new blow deprives Spurs of a bona fide star ahead of the Juventus showdown a week from today (Wednesday).
Pochettino’s update on Alderweireld comes after Spurs had issued an update earlier in the day in which it was stated that the Belgian’s injury was only ‘minor’ ahead of the FA Cup clash against Rochdale tonight and the Premier League showdown against Huddersfield this weekend.
Football Insider verdict:
In Jan Vertonghen, who is expected to recover from an ankle injury of his own, Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier, Spurs have three very capable centre-backs who may all be used in a three-man defence against Juve at Wembley. Vertonghen has been the team’s outstanding centre-back this season, but Spurs fans will be concerned about Sanchez and Dier, who are solid but capable of the type of errors that Alderweireld has barely made in three brilliant seasons at the club. The Belgian is an outstanding centre-back and has been the best in the league since joining from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2015. He will be a huge miss against an attack of Juve’s quality.
In other Tottenham news, it can be revealed the club are working on deals to sign up FIVE players, with three agreements virtually nailed on.
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