Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed why midfielder Mousa Dembele was ruled out of the win over West Ham United on Saturday.
As reported by The Guardian earlier in the week, the Argentine tactician had spoken about managing the Belgian’s playing time given his injury track record and a troublesome foot problem that continues to irritate him.
However, his exclusion from the match day squad entirely this weekend was a surprise, although as noted by freelance injury analyst Ben Dinnery in the tweet below, Pochettino has now revealed that the Tottenham midfielder picked up an ankle problem in midweek in the League Cup win over Barnsley.
Pochettino confirms Dembele "started to feel a problem with his ankle" after the cup win over Barnsley. "We hope it’s not a big issue" #COYS
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) September 23, 2017
In turn, he was probably rested as a precaution to avoid the issue from flaring up, and it’s a sensible strategy as the 30-year-old is a key figure for Spurs and will be needed for bigger tests ahead throughout the campaign.
Tottenham seemingly didn’t miss him too much as they secured a 3-2 win over the Hammers, although supporters will undoubtedly be keen to get him back sooner rather than later in order to replace Moussa Sissoko in the line-up moving forward.