Tottenham Hotspur face a daunting challenge as they prepare to take on Premier League champions Manchester City, with manager Ange Postecoglou confirming the extended absence of Rodrigo Bentancur until 2024 due to another injury setback.
Bentancur, who recently returned to the starting lineup after a nine-month recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, suffered a torn ankle ligament during the defeat to Aston Villa. The 26-year-old Uruguayan midfielder’s absence compounds Spurs’ injury woes, adding to a growing list that includes Cristian Romero, Micky van de Ven, and James Maddison.
Despite the mounting challenges, Postecoglou remains resolute in his approach, asserting that his possession-based, front-foot tactics will persist. The Australian manager expressed his excitement about facing City and Pep Guardiola’s side, acknowledging the difficulties but emphasizing the opportunity to measure Spurs against the best.
“It’s always a challenge playing against City or any team Pep manages. You love that, you relish that, that’s the arena you want to be in, measuring yourself against the very best,” said Postecoglou.
Acknowledging the hurdles, Postecoglou remains focused on Spurs’ overarching goals and the development of their playing style. Despite the injury setbacks, he emphasized the importance of these challenging moments in shaping the identity of the team.
“These are the important times because this will show what kind of football team we want to be. You can sort of shy away, say we have injuries, we’re playing Man City away, but you’re either going to be a club that tries to knock off the big clubs or you are a big club. You are one or the other,” he remarked.
The manager also hinted at the possibility of securing replacements, considering Pape Matar Sarr’s absence due to African Cup of Nations commitments. Spurs, currently on a three-match losing streak, face an uphill battle against last season’s treble-winners with a depleted squad.