Tottenham’s 1-0 victory over Sunderland at the weekend was full of positives. The unbeaten Lilywhites improved their Premier League record to 3 wins and 2 draws, kept a clean sheet, and dominated both possession and chances created against their outmatched opponents. However, their narrow win—granted to them via a late Harry Kane goal—was not without cost. By the time the final whistle blew, 3 Spurs players had come off the pitch with injuries, with the biggest and most problematic of these being the nasty-looking ankle sprain goal scorer Kane suffered. The English striker’s injury was severe enough to require the use of a stretcher to get him out of the stadium, leaving hearts in mouths around White Hart Lane as fans speculated on the extent of the damage.
Truth be told, Kane’s injury left a sour taste in the mouth after what was otherwise a job-well done, and attention immediately turned to determining just how long Kane and his 2 injured teammates Dembele and Dier would be on the sidelines. For the latter pair, good news came soon after Sunday’s game as manager Pochettino indicated he didn’t expect either of them to be out of action for an extended period. This makes sense, given that both players seemed to pull up more with minor muscle strains/cramps than anything else. Kane, though, wasn’t so lucky. Reports early this week say he’ll miss at least 6-8 weeks, and having watched the replay of his injury dozens of times, I can’t say I’m surprised. It certainly looked like a high ankle sprain, and they take a fair bit of time to recover from.
Last year, an injury of this magnitude to a player like Kane would’ve absolutely devastated Spurs, as the big man had no suitable backup to slot in for him. Fortunately for Spurs, they don’t have such a problem this season, as Vincent Janssen was brought in to cover for Kane over the summer. The Dutchman is certain to get his chance now with Kane facing an extended spell on the sidelines, and fans will be hoping he grasps it with both hands.
The good thing about Janssen is that his playing style is quite similar to Kane’s, and so he represents a like-for-like replacement in the target man role. The lad works his socks off every time he’s called upon, a trait that endeared Kane to the Spurs faithful when he was first rising to prominence. His movement is clever and his holdup play is strong; all that remains is for him to add the goals he was known for in his home country. He’ll certainly have ample opportunities too, as Spurs’ fixture list is growing congested with League Cup, Premier League, and Champions League matches all on the docket in the next 7 days.
Janssen still awaits his debut competitive goal for Spurs, but with the run of games he’s sure to get, I doubt he’ll be waiting too much longer. I’m sure I speak for many Spurs fans when I say I’m excited to see what he can do as he prepares to step into some big, big shoes at the head of our attack. Pochettino will be feeling the same way, eager to learn if his summer business will bear fruit or fall flat when the pressure’s on.