Mauricio Pochettino admitted he is “worried” about Dele Alli after revealing the Tottenham midfielder is set to miss the start of the new season with a fresh hamstring injury.
Alli was ruled out of Tottenham’s final pre-season friendly against Inter on Sunday and is now in a race against time to be fit for next Saturday’s Premier League opener against Aston Villa.
The 23-year-old missed a number of matches with a similar injury problem last season and Pochettino is concerned about the amount of time one of his star men has spent on the sidelines in his four years with Spurs.
“I don’t know if the club will communicate the time [he will be out] but I don’t believe he’s going to be ready for the start of the season,” Pochettino said at his post-match news conference.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 4, 2019
“It’s the same type of injury [as before]. Of course we are worried. He’s still so young – just 23 years old and he has had many, many hamstring problems in the last few years.
“We are here to try to help him. I think it’s a minor injury – probably a few weeks before he can be available again and be with the group.”
Tottenham were also without Serge Aurier, Juan Foyth, Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier for their friendly with Inter on home soil, which they lost 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes – Lucas Moura’s early strike being cancelled out by Stefano Sensi.
Pochettino conceded after the match a number of his players will be short of fitness come the start of the new campaign.
“With Juan I think the medical staff are going to provide an update in the next few days,” he said. “I cannot say more because I don’t know exactly how much time he will be out for.
“For sure it’s a tough injury and for sure it is many weeks he is going to be out. We hope he can recover as soon as possible.
“Serge, Victor and Dier were at the training ground. For different reasons they are short in their preparation. Rather than play today it was important to train and to try to be fit as soon as possible.
“We are going to arrive in a very good condition [for the first game], but maybe not in an ideal condition.
— Dele (@dele_official) July 31, 2019
“Some players are a little bit shorter in their preparation. It’s not ideal, but it’s after going to be such a tough season and we are happy.
“We need to improve. We have one week to prepare for the game but we’re going to arrive in a good condition to try to beat Aston Villa.”
Club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele made his home debut in Sunday’s International Champions Cup match and Pochettino is not ruling out more new signings before Thursday’s deadline, despite a lack of recent dialogue with chairman Daniel Levy.
“I am happy with my squad,” he said. “You can see today a lot of younger players.
“Every season we are always open to improve the squad and to try to find the right players to be stronger and better and there are still four days. We’ll see what happens in the next few days.
“But Daniel is in Miami and I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to him.”
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