Ruthless gamble: Jose Mourinho must make a brutal call over £45m-rated Spurs liability – opinion
He might not be able to play on Thursday night, but Tottenham Hotspur’s summer arrival, Joe Rodon, has to be the man to replace Toby Alderweireld going forward.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho was dealt one hell of a blow that put a massive dampener on their 2-0 win over Manchester City at the weekend as the Belgian centre-back went off injured in the second-half without coming into contact with an opposition player.
Alderweireld has played a big part in the north Londoners keeping three clean sheets in four matches.
Following the match, the Special One claimed: “It’s bad, it’s bad. It’s a muscular injury,” which may have to be taken with a pinch of salt but it would not be a shock considering he had played three international matches in just over a week beforehand.
There will be a temptation to bring Davinson Sanchez back into the fold having not made the matchday squad in any of their last four Premier League outings whilst he only made the bench last time out in the Europa League.
The one-time club-record £42m arrival, who is now worth €50m (£45m) will undoubtedly feature against Ludogorets this week and that’s a risk they can afford to make given the level in competition, but regardless of his performance, he can’t be trusted for their trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
A frontline involving Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz is a scary prospect as it is, it’ll only be made worse by putting a player dubbed a “liability” by many supporters next to Eric Dier, who is not a centre-back by trade himself.
An argument can easily be made against Rodon, considering his only top-flight experience has been a total of ten minutes across substitute appearances against Burnley and City, but he’s far more worth the gamble than an already-known calamity.
The Welshman’s ceiling is high having drawn comparisons to Rio Ferdinand and John Terry whilst journalist Dominic Booth added: “Rodon is a leader given his age, a bit of an old head on young shoulders. He’s good in the air despite not being a huge presence, and looks destined for bigger things.”
In his four appearances for Swansea before the switch, he averaged a whopping 7.8 clearances, 5.3 aerials won and 2.3 interceptions per game, via WhoScored.
His 6 foot 4 presence will be much-needed in the absence of Alderweireld. It’s on Mourinho to take that punt for the foreseeable future.
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Source: Football – Football Fan Cast