File this one under Statements No One Expected to Make Right Now, or Ever: the impending diagnosis of Juan Foyth‘s ankle injury could shape the final days of Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer window, as well as their first few months of the 2019-20 Premier League season.
After Kieran Trippier was transferred to Atletico Madrid last month, no replacement was signed for last season’s regular starter at right back — surprise! — which now appears due to the fact Mauricio Pochettino had said replacement already in the first-team squad: Foyth, a 21-year-old defender/defensive midfielder who’s been at the club for two seasons but made just 12 PL appearances (all last season).
Foyth gobbled up the lion’s share of the minutes at right back during preseason and acquitted himself quite well. He appeared the favorite to start over Serge Aurier, even in the rare event the Frenchman is fit and available. Then came a potentially serious ankle ligament injury during Wednesday’s friendly against Bayern Munich. Foyth was stretchered off the field and the club awaits word on the severity of the injury.
Of all the positions on the field, right back is perhaps the one position in which Tottenham couldn’t afford any long-term injuries, and here they find themselves before the new season even kicks off. Aurier is as unreliable for fitness and form as they come, and Kyle Walker-Peters has been a promising prospect for a few years now but has thus far failed to make his mark on anything.
Right back was very plainly singled out as Spurs’ weak point last season, before letting Trippier leave. If Foyth is to miss any prolonged period of time — meaning more than the season’s opening month — Spurs could find themselves needlessly dropping points once again and all but precluding themselves from a legitimate title challenge before the air turns crisp and the leaves change colors.