Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that Spurs are currently in an “extreme situation” whilst discussing their fixture congestion and their lack of depth up front.
Over the past few seasons, a lack of cover and competition for Harry Kane has meant that the 27-year-old has featured extensively for Spurs, with little in the way of rest.
While the 2018-19 campaign saw Fernando Llorente step up after Kane was ruled out due to injury, but the Spaniard – plus Vincent Janssen – left that summer and weren’t replaced.
When Kane and Son Heung-min were both sidelined last term, it resulted in a major personnel crisis for Mourinho, who had no senior forward available prior to the English football suspension.
Against Everton, Kane looked lethargic and was unable to prevent Spurs from falling to a 1-0 defeat, raising more questions about how overworked the England captain is.
And with an incredibly busy schedule coming up over the next week, it will be a very testing time for the whole squad, not least their talisman.
Ahead of Thursday’s Europa League trip to Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Football London asked Mourinho whether Kane would have to play against the Bulgarians, to which he simply replied: “Yes.”
The outlet then asked him whether Kane would also against Southampton at the weekend, and potentially next week in the Europa League, and the Portuguese gave the same answer.
“He cannot play every match for 90 minutes,” added Mourinho. “That’s for sure. I know that he would like to do that, because that’s his nature and he’s the kind of guy who is happy to be on the pitch for 90 minutes, but it’s not possible.
“This situation is an extreme situation for us. Hopefully we have this problem but we need to win in Plovdiv and in Leyton, but hopefully we have this problem and no player can play 90 minutes of every game.”
Last season’s crisis up front was an embarrassment for Spurs, who were caught out big time when both Kane and Son were sidelined, and the prospect of adequate cover up front has been spoken about by fans for years.
With just under three weeks to go until the transfer window closes, Tottenham aren’t exactly short of time to bolster their ranks up front, but they really shouldn’t leave it too late as they can’t afford another situation like earlier this year.
Of course, the fixture congestion is something out of Spurs’ control and it’ll be extremely tough – Eric Dier called it a welfare concern – so Mourinho will likely prioritise Kane for the more crucial matches; he shouldn’t get more than a substitute cameo for the Orient game.