Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte may be back in the dugout but he will be without another first-team star as his side faces Leicester City in the Premier League this afternoon.
What is the latest on Yves Bissouma?
Earlier in the week, reports confirmed that first-choice goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris would be ruled out for the next six-to-eight weeks with a knee injury and now, the club have announced that midfielder Yves Bissouma is the latest name on the treatment table at Hotspur Way.
The 26-year-old, who joined Spurs in a £25m deal from Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer, underwent surgery on Friday to repair a stress fracture on his left ankle.
It remains to be seen exactly how long he’ll be absent. However, it’s hard to envisage the Mali international returning anytime soon and he could be out for a similar amount of time as his French teammate.
Does Bissouma have more to offer Conte and Spurs?
How will this Spurs injury blow impact Conte?
This is another major blow for Conte and the squad heading into a busy fixture list.
Bissouma has made 20 appearances in the Premier League this campaign – of which eight have been starts – as he finds himself sat behind Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur in the pecking order.
Tottenham have a two-legged tie with AC Milan in the Champions League, either side of London derbies against West Ham United and Chelsea, as well as Sheffield United in the FA Cup fifth round.
With so many games coming thick and fast, the returning Italian would have liked to rotate his squad, keeping them fresh throughout a hectic schedule but injuries such as the one to Bissouma will only impact his ability to do so.
Pape Matar Sarr has also been rocked with injuries lately, meaning Conte only has Oliver Skipp available for cover in the engine room, which is one of the most important parts of the pitch.
The 27-time Mali powerhouse was once hailed as an “absolute monster” by journalist Aaron Stokes for his commanding nature in the heart of the pitch. Indeed, for the Seagulls last season, Bissouma averaged 2.9 tackles, 1.9 interceptions and 1.3 dribbles per game in the Premier League, highlighting his ability to take control of matches at the very top.
Whilst it hasn’t happened for him yet in north London, there is no doubt that there is still a major talent in there and given the upcoming fixtures, the ever-rising injury list and the need to rotate, Conte really could have done with his services – thus making his absence a gutting setback indeed.
AND in other news, Spurs could now unearth Kane’s true heir in “highly-rated” teen, move over Scarlett…