Steven Bergwijn in the lead? Dele Alli as a false nine? Without Son Heung-min or Harry Kane and younger Troy Parrott ‘not ready’ … how exactly will Jose Mourinho try to solve the forward misery of Tottenham for the rest of the season?
- Tottenham are without their main two attackers for the rest of the season
- Son Heung-min is now on the sidelines with Harry Kane with long-term injuries
- Jose Mourinho will face enormous headaches in the coming months and will reschedule the attack
- But the Portuguese have a few options to test in the coming weeks
- The likes of Steven Bergwijn, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura will all prove to be the key
Jose Mourinho faces a huge headache on his way to the last few months of the Premier League after the news that he will be in Son Heung-min without his main target threat.
The Spurs boss does not expect the Korean, who has scored six goals in his last five games, to return for the rest of the season after it was announced that he needed surgery for a broken arm.
Son was already replacing as attacker instead of main attacker Harry Kane – who will also miss a large part of the campaign with a hamstring injury.
Jose Mourinho is confronted with a huge selection headache that chooses Tottenham’s attack
Son Heung-min (left) and Harry Kane will miss the rest of the campaign
It leaves Mourinho with enormous selection problems and he admitted: ‘The situation could not be worse in terms of options. It is a very, very obvious situation. In some periods I was worried that I had no attack options in the bank, now there are no attack options on the field. “
So how can Tottenham prepare for the rest of the season? Mourinho has already excluded the option to play Ryan Sessegnon in an attack, while the highly regarded young Troy Parrott is also not ready to take the lead. “I think Troy Parrott is not ready and Ryan Sessegnon is not a striker,” he said during his press conference on Tuesday.
With that in mind, Sportsmail looks at the options available for Mourinho, who must prepare a plan quickly, as his party is back in action against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
Mourinho has already ruled out Ryan Sessegnon (left) or Troy Parrott being attacked
Defense: Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga
Central Midfield: Winks, Lo Celso
Attacking Midfield: Moura, Alli, Sessegnon
Forward: Mountain wine
Plan A – Stick with 4-2-3-1
This is the option Mourinho will most likely go with, and he was the one he started with in Tottenham’s recent wins at Aston Villa on Sunday and Manchester City for the winter break.
Against Villa it was Son Heung-min playing as the most advanced attacker, but against City it was Lucas Moura in the attack.
However, the Brazilian struggled with the role, so it is more likely that Steven Bergwijn will be called to fill the vacancy.
Steven Bergwijn is the most likely leader for the forward line from Tottenham for the remainder of the season
Mourinho was able to experiment with the use of the versatile Giovani Lo Celso as a false nine
It is a position he has played before, but only nine times in his career at PSV Eindhoven. Even less encouragingly, he failed to score in one of those games.
Another option is Dele Alli, who scored last season as a shadow attacker at Manchester United, but his form is worrying and he was guilty of some missed chances at the weekend to win Aston Villa.
If Mourinho feels really experimental, he can use Giovani Lo Celso as a false nine, but this would be very unlikely. Erik Lamela would also qualify for a similar role, but it is unlikely that he will return in time for the collision in Leipzig.
Erik Lamela can also be considered for an offensive role as soon as he returns from an injury
Center backs: Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga
Wing-backs: Aurier, Davies
midfield: Winks, Lo Celso, Ndombele
forwards: Mountain wine, Alli
Plan B – The 3-5-2 guess
Perhaps fearing the workload on an inexperienced lone attacker, Mourinho can resort to the 3-5-2 formation that was seen in the 3-2 win over Southampton in the FA Cup.
However, this would be an unpopular move given Southampton’s dominance at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and it was broken early in the second half when an exposed Jan Vertonghen was replaced in the defense by midfielder Gedson Fernandes.
Dele Alli would benefit from a bidentate attack but was out of shape for purpose
Lucas Moura played the top, but with mixed fortunes during his time at White Hart Lane
However, Mourinho saw enough hope in the system to start it in the first place and he might think that his current situation requires two attackers to share the attacking burden.
Lucas Moura and Son were attacking against the saints, and although they worked well, they saw their service from midfield decrease as the game progressed.
An advantage for Mourinho is that it gives him more partnerships to work with. Alli would benefit from a more advanced role ahead where he could perform alongside Bergwijn or Lucas Moura. Similarly, the last two could take the lead with Alli behind them.
Although this system would not benefit from Lo Celso in an important forward role, it does give Mourinho the freedom to experiment with the arrival of the summer as a deep-lying playmaker alongside Harry Winks or Eric Dier.
This in turn could give a new arrival in Tanguy Ndombele in the summer a chance to play a little higher from the defensive midfield to his favorite central midfield role. But despite his impressive displays so far this period, there are still concerns about his competitive fitness that has plagued his first season on White Hart Lane.
Record drawing Tanguy Ndombele may have a more advanced role in midfield