BBC Sport pundit Rob Green has ripped into Tottenham Hotspur’s decision not to bolster their attacking ranks enough in the past two transfer windows, and that taking to the pitch for the Champions League last-16 first leg without a recognised striker is “criminal” (BBC Sport).
Spurs were rocked earlier this week after it was announced that Son Heung-min is set for surgery after sustaining a fracture to his right arm during Spurs’ victory over Aston Villa, a game in which he scored twice.
Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho questioned the timescale issued by the club – “a number of weeks out” – and seriously doubts that the 27-year-old will be back this season, as reported by BBC Sport.
“I’m not going to count on him again this season,” said Mourinho. “If he plays two or three games then it’s because (Tottenham’s press officer) is very optimistic, and I hope he is right. But, in my mind, I’m not thinking about that.”
With Tottenham also missing Harry Kane through injury, the team’s attacking ranks have been severely impacted – Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn and Troy Parrott are now the only fit forwards.
Against RB Leipzig in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Wednesday night, Spurs were without a recognised frontline and ended up falling to a 1-0 defeat, courtesy of Timo Werner’s penalty.
Parrott was not included in the squad, and on the subject, Green told BBC Sport: “Historically Mourinho does not play kids – that is not his thing.
“You prepare for a season and things go wrong. You have started the season with one number nine, you are getting into the last 16 of the Champions League and you have not got a centre-forward – it is criminal.”
Last summer, Spurs allowed Fernando Llorente and Vincent Janssen to leave the club – and it seems as though that decision, along with not making like-for-like replacements, has come back to haunt the North Londoners.
Mourinho’s reluctance to throw Parrott in at the deep end should not be criticised – it’s far too big a responsibility to place on the shoulders of a player who’s got very little senior game time and has just turned 18.
If anything, the finger should be pointed at the Tottenham board, because a team of Spurs’ calibre, hoping to challenge for silverware, should have never been allowed to get in this position.
While injury crises can and will affect any clubs – look at Manchester City’s defensive crisis – contingency plans should have been made, and letting Llorente go, the perfect deputy, was a terrible call.