Ange Postecoglou received a timely injury boost during the international break. Despite an impressive start implementing a progressive playing style, the unbeaten run that took Spurs to the top of the Premier League table had fans cautiously eyeing the potential for a title challenge due to squad depth issues.
The concerns escalated after facing Chelsea a few weeks ago, where key players faced disciplinary actions and injuries. Cristian Romero’s straight red card led to a three-game ban, Destiny Udogie’s two yellows resulted in a one-match suspension (with Yves Bissouma missing the next game due to accumulated yellows), and injuries to Micky van de Ven and James Maddison left them unlikely to return until the new year. This added to the list of long-term absences, including Ivan Perisic, Manor Solomon, and Ryan Sessegnon.
Postecoglou had to call upon his reserves to fill the gaps, but back-to-back defeats in the league tested the team’s confidence. However, the international break provided a reset for some players and a chance for others to represent their nations.
Fortuitously, it seems that all the players returning from international duty are without major injuries, providing a relief for the upcoming fixture schedule. Additionally, the break marked the return to action for Giovani Lo Celso, who featured for Argentina against Brazil. Lo Celso played for 70 minutes, gradually regaining full fitness after grappling with various injury concerns in the past.
This return to action positions Lo Celso as a potential secret weapon for Postecoglou, especially in replacing the creative spark lost due to Maddison’s injury. While it remains uncertain whether he will get the chance to showcase his skills against Aston Villa over the weekend, the manager now has this option at his disposal as the team navigates through the ongoing injury crisis.