Dele Alli has been ruled out until early March after the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder suffered a hamstring strain against Fulham on Sunday.
The 22-year-old pulled up midway through the second half at Craven Cottage and will now miss important matches for his club, including a possible League Cup final.
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- Alli is the latest in a long line of Spurs players to fall to injuries in recent weeks and Mauricio Pochettino is now desperately short in attack.
- Harry Kane is out until March with an ankle problem and Son Heung-min is away at the Asian Cup with South Korea.
- Pochettino would usually turn to Lucas Moura in the absence of recognised centre-forwards, but he is sidelined with a knee problem.
- Alli, the team’s main source of goals from midfield, had the potential to play as a ‘False No. 9’ but he will now be on the treatment table for over a month.
- Fernando Llorente struggled to lead the line against Fulham and scored an own goal – he has found the net just once in the Premier League for Tottenham.
There had been hopes Alli’s injury wasn’t a serious one considering the amount of Tottenham players currently out of action.
But Spurs announced what could be lengthy lay-off via Twitter on Tuesday.
A tweet read: “Following scans and clinical assessment, we can confirm that @dele_official has suffered a hamstring strain, sustained during Sunday’s match.
“Dele will now undergo a period of rehabilitation with our medical staff, with the expectation of returning to training in early March.”
How many matches could Alli miss?
Like Kane, Alli has been ruled out until early March, meaning he will be absent for vital games in multiple competitions over the next few weeks.
Firstly, he will miss Thursday’s League Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where he scored twice in the Premier League last season. He will miss the final, too, should Spurs progress.
Alli will also be out for league matches against Watford, Newcastle, Leicester, Burnley and Chelsea – and possibly the north London derby against Arsenal on March 2.
What’s more, Tottenham will be without the 22-year-old for Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace and the home leg of their Champions League last 16 clash with Borussia Dortmund.