Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has dropped Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier from his squad to face Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night, citing technical reasons behind their omission.
The startling decision to drop the two defenders comes at time when the club is reeling from consecutive losses in the Premier League and are desperate for a win.
Apart from the aforementioned duo, Spurs will also be without Dele Alli, Moussa Sissoko and skipper Hugo Lloris for their trip to the San Siro as the trio is sidelined with injuries.
While the Argentine didn’t divulge much on the omission, the chief reason behind Trippier and Alderweireld’s axing could be that they both made deep runs at the 2018 FIFA World Cup for their respective nations.
Both England and Belgium reached the semi-finals in Russia, where Alderweireld’s Red Devils edged Trippier’s Three Lions in the third-place playoff.
Alderweireld hardly played last season as he was injured and then involved in a contract standoff with the club.
The highly-rated Belgian was supposedly on the verge of making a move to Premier League rivals Manchester United, but the deal never came through and the centre-back remained in North London.
While a new deal has not yet been signed, it appears as though Alderweireld is back in Pochettino’s good books for the Belgian has started all four of Spurs’ Premier League games so far.
Trippier has started all Premier League games as well, which would suggest that Pochettino wants to keep the duo fresh for their clash against Brighton & Hove Albion on the weekend.
In Alderweireld’s stead, Colombian Davinson Sanchez is expected to slot in alongside Jan Vertonghen in the heart of the defence while Serge Aurier will replace Trippier on the right flank.