Tottenham suffer Cristian Romero blow ahead of Brighton test

Spurs set to be without key defender for up to five weeks

Cristian Romero warms up ahead of the match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton. EPA
Powered by automated translation

Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt another cruel injury blow after it was confirmed key defender Cristian Romero will be out for up to five weeks with a hamstring problem.

Argentine Romero only returned from a three-match ban at the beginning of December but is now facing another significant spell on the sidelines.

The 25-year-old picked up the injury during last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Everton and a scan has confirmed damage to his hamstring.

Spurs head coach Ange Postecoglou has guided his team into Champions League contention despite having to cope without several key players, including Romero and the England midfielder James Maddison.

“Not so great with Romero," said Postecoglou ahead of tonight's trip to Brighton. “He had a scan the other day and has got a hamstring strain. We are looking at probably four or five weeks for him.

“Disappointing to lose him, for sure. We obviously missed him with the suspension and now we’ve just got him back and he steadied things up.

“Now he will be missing again for quite a chunk of time.”

Romero’s previous absence was compounded by defensive partner Micky van de Ven also being out with a hamstring injury.

Dutchman Van de Ven suffered the injury in the 4-1 defeat to Chelsea last month but is nearing a return. He said in an interview last week he could be back in as little as two weeks. His manager, however, was a little more circumspect.

“He is getting closer,” Postecoglou confirmed. “We will see him some time in January. I don’t think Burnley but Man United on the 14th potentially

“I don’t look at comeback dates until I see them training with us and he hasn’t been part of the group.

“He is not due to be part of the group this week so we’ll see how he is going at the end of this week. Once they start training with the group, that’s when we start thinking about if they are available.

“He is at the tail end of it, for sure and at some point, middle of January he could be available but how we use him after such a long absence will be depending on where he is at.”

Brighton, meanwhile, are likely to be without winger Kaoru Mitoma against Spurs because of an ankle problem. Striker Danny Welbeck could be ready to start, however, having come off the bench in Albion's past two games as he steps up his recovery from a muscle strain.

Elsewhere, Arsenal will look to reclaim top spot in the table when they face London rivals West Ham at the Emirates Stadium tonight.

The Gunners will be missing midfielder Kai Havertz who is suspended after racking up five yellow cards for the season. Takehiro Tomiyasu, Fabio Vieira, Thomas Partey and Jurrien Timber all remain sidelined.

Arsenal have won 12 of their last 13 home games against the Hammers and are now unbeaten in 17 Premier League games against fellow London clubs, dating back to a 3-0 defeat at Spurs in May 2020.

West Ham have won their last two and a third on the spin would take them back into the top six. Manager David Moyes will ponder a recall for Nayef Aguerd, who missed their 2-0 victory against Manchester United through illness.

Tottenham v Everton - player ratings

Updated: December 27, 2023, 1:25 PM