Harry Kane: Who will score the goals for Spurs with the striker out injured?
Tottenham losing striker Harry Kane until at least early March with an ankle injury is “absolutely devastating” says former Spurs winger Chris Waddle.
The 25-year-old England captain was injured in Sunday's 1-0 Premier League defeat by Manchester United and Spurs say the player will return to training in early March.
Kane, Spurs' top scorer this season, could miss up to 11 games, including the Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund, the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea and crucial league games against Chelsea and Arsenal.
His injury, combined with the absence of South Korean forward Son Heung-min who is on Asian Cup duty, has left Spurs short of firepower.
The pair have scored 47% of Spurs' Premier League goals this season
“To lose him [Kane] until March is absolutely devastating,” ex-England international Waddle told Radio 5 live. “I'm sure they're looking around Europe, even someone out of favour who could do a job for three months. Could they get someone on loan with a fee to tick them over until the end of the season?”
So who are Spurs' options in Kane and Son's absence?
The back-up – Fernando Llorente
The 6ft 4in Spanish striker, 33, has scored four goals this season in 14 games, including a hat-trick in the FA Cup third round against Tranmere earlier this month.
Llorente, who joined from Swansea for £12m in 2017, has regularly played back-up to Kane and his six Premier League appearances this season have all come from the bench.
Waddle said: “Llorente you would think would come in but he's not as mobile as Kane. He's probably best going with [Lucas] Moura at the moment with [Dele] Alli behind.”
Former Spurs boss David Pleat added: “Llorente is a very honest trainer, he has had to play in the shadows, he is excellent in the air, and did wonderfully well for Swansea before he came to Spurs. Last time he played he was excellent albeit against Tranmere. Fans should not be too downcast, it could be he goes in and does particularly well.”
The forgotten man – Vincent Janssen
The 24-year-old Dutch striker joined Spurs for £17 million in July 2016, but has barely featured for the club.
His first year in English football saw him score six goals in 38 appearances and the following season was spent on loan at Turkish side Fenerbahce.
After recovering from a foot injury, he played his first game for the club since 20 August 2017 earlier this month in the under-23s.
“People forget they've still got Janssen they can't get rid of and he might have to come off the bench in games,” said Waddle.
Spend big? – Marko Arnautovic?
Spurs made no signings in the summer, becoming the first Premier League club to do so since the current transfer window system was adopted in 2003.
But in the last January transfer window they signed Brazil winger Moura for £23m from Paris St-Germain.
One option this year could be West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic, who has been the subject of a £35m bid from an unnamed Chinese side.
West Ham say the Austrian, who has eight goals this season, is not for sale but Arnautovic's brother and agent says he wants to move.
“I believe you always need one new face in the summer,” said Burnley striker Jonathan Walters. “You knew Son was going away so at some point they'd need all their strikers. Llorente perhaps doesn't fit how they want to play. I can't see them getting someone in the window.
“A lot of big teams don't do big business in January. To bring someone in is a risk.
“But if it comes down to it they may have to spend a bit of money. Arnautovic – his brother has made noises. It happened at Stoke. The money in China is a major factor for going there but he'd be ready made to go into a Tottenham team. He's a phenomenal player, good guy and would fit right in. Would West Ham sell him to Tottenham?”
Leftfield choice? Giuseppe Rossi
The 31-year-old ex-Italy forward is currently training at former club Manchester United and is a free agent after leaving Genoa in the summer.
Rossi, who has played for Villarreal and Fiorentina, has missed almost a quarter of his career due to injuries.
Walters said Rossi “might be an option,” adding: “Could he be a short-term solution?”
Former West Ham midfielder Jack Collison added: “Manchester United are flying and only seven points behind [in the Premier League] so they won't want to start losing games. It's an important couple of months and a test for Pochettino.
“It's an interesting point about Rossi. When Llorente came on they went more direct and it doesn't suit Eriksen and Alli. They don't want to be changing their style of play.”
What about the rest of the Spurs forwards?
Pleat says Spurs do not have any young players “ready to come in.”
So they may have to look at their existing forwards to step up – Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela and Dele Alli.
|Where Tottenham's Premier League goals have come from in 2018-19|
|Player||Goals||Assists||Goal involvements||Percentage of goals (%)|
|Tottenham minus Kane & Son*||23||21||44||50%|
* Spurs have also benefited from one own-goal this season, accounting for 3% of their goals
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