Toby Alderweireld Injury ‘Not as Big as Initially Thought’ Says Jose Mourinho

Alderweireld Injury

Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the injury Toby Alderweireld picked up against Manchester City ‘is not as big as we initially thought’. However, the Belgium international could still miss up to a month of football.

Alderweireld Expected to Miss Between Two to Four Weeks Due to Injury

Injury Period Could See Centre-Back Miss Matches Against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool

Mourinho, speaking ahead of his side’s Europa League match against Ludogorets, told reporters:

“Toby has a muscular injury but not as big as we initially thought.

“He will have his time to be out but not like a month, which was immediately what we thought. I’d say between two and four weeks.”

Based on that time-frame, the earliest Alderweireld could return would be against Crystal Palace on December 12. That would see the centre-back miss key Premier League fixtures against London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal.

A four-week layoff would see the 31-year-old centre-back return against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Boxing Day – which would mean he also misses the league game against defending champions Liverpool on December 16.

Tottenham Defensive Stability Hinges on Alderweireld

Alderweireld has been one of the pillars of Tottenham’s recent defensive record.

Since a miserable 1-0 defeat at Royal Antwerp in the Europa League, Spurs have conceded just two goals in four matches, which have all resulted in victories.

The most impressive was the recent 2-0 win over Manchester City – in which Alderweireld played a pivotal role.

With the Belgian out of action for at least two weeks, Mourinho’s squad is left with just three centre-backs.

Furthermore, Joe Rodon‘s ineligibility for the Europa League means that Mourinho will be forced to pair an out-of-form Davinson Sanchez with Eric Dier against Ludogorets.

Rodon and Sanchez will be battling it out for a place in Mourinho’s long-term plans during Alderweireld’s absence.

When asked about Rodon ahead of the Ludogorets game, Mourinho said:

“To play regularly in the Championship I think it gives a player of quality a certain level of intensity and experience to allow players to be good players.

“We have Davinson for tomorrow night and then Davinson and Joe for Sunday.”

Mourinho also confirmed that his plans for the returning Japhet Tanganga lie in the full-back positions, as opposed to the centre of defence:

“Tanganga for me is a full-back. A multi-functional defensive player but [firstly] a full-back.”

 

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