Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino confirmed that Harry Kane will miss their trip to Manchester United but remained hopeful the striker will recover in time for the Lilywhites’ UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday.
“We’re very disappointed – it’s a minor injury but we cannot take a risk,” Pochettino was quoted as saying by the club website ahead of the tie with the Red Devils.
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“We’ll miss him for the next game and hope he will be ready for Real Madrid,” the Argentine manager opined as he stressed that Spurs’ collective strength would be enough to see them secure three points at Old Trafford despite Kane’s absence.
“Of course, football is about the squad, we have good players and we can replace him and try to win,” Pochettino asserted.
Kane, who has scored an impressive 13 times in 12 appearances this season, suffered a hamstring injury towards the end of Spurs’ 4-1 thumping of Liverpool on Saturday.
Pochettino had claimed he took the 24-year-old off because he was feeling tired but on Friday, Spurs revealed via their their Twitter account that Kane had suffered a slight strain to his hamstring.
In Kane’s absence, Pochettino has the option of starting backup striker Fernando Llorente in his place or could utilise Korean winger Son Heung-min as a false-nine. And the Spurs manager admitted he was still considering the pros and cons of both systems.
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“It’s not an excuse that there is no Harry Kane tomorrow. We have Fernando, Son, we have options. We’ll take the best decision for the team,” the 45-year-old stated.
Llorente, a summer signing from Swansea, started in Spurs’ mid-week loss to West Ham United in the Carabao Cup but the veteran Spaniard is yet to open his account for his new club. His aerial presence is immense but the 32-year-old lacks the mobility of Kane despite bringing a wealth of experience to the table.
Going with Son seems like the likelier option as the Korean winger is in good form and his speed on the counter will be key as Spurs look to maintain their perfect away record this season.
Kane’s injury, which is expected to see him miss out for a period of roughly 10 days, makes him a doubt for the home clash with Real Madrid.
Wednesday’s tie at Wembley stadium is seen a battle for top spot as both sides are almost guaranteed of progression after a identical return of seven points from three games.
The next clash after that is at home against Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace (November 5) and after Spurs’ initial prognosis, Kane is almost certain to return to the lineup by then.