Ange Postecoglou is currently trying to navigate his most difficult spell as Tottenham manager despite having lost Harry Kane just a few days before the 2023/24 season started. While losing Kane was a blow that would take many superlatives to describe, in just eleventh game in charge, Postecoglou saw two of his best players leave the pitch injured with another duo sent off.

James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie all endured nightmarish evenings in the London derby against Chelsea. During the first half Romero was shown a straight red card with van de Ven and Maddison going off injured before Udogie was also given his marching orders.

With it expected all four would miss the clash against Wolves, Maddison and Udogie returning to face Aston Villa after the international break was on the cards especially with the latter only withdrawn as a precaution. However, Postecoglou confirmed he, like van de Ven, would be out until the new year.

Alongside his suspension, Udogie was also dealing with an injury with it a 50/50 call for him to even feature against Chelsea with his availability for this weekend also thrown into doubt. Add to that the fact that Ivan Perisic, Manor Solomon and Richarlison are also injury absentees and it is quite the dire situation for Postecoglou and Spurs.

Nonetheless, there have been some positives with club captain Son Heung-min dismissing any reports he is carrying an injury last week. Speaking while on international duty, as quoted by Yonhap News Agency he said: “When playing a game, you get stepped on or kicked. I kick myself sometimes. Other than not being able to sleep due to jet lag, I’m in good physical condition.”

The 31-year-old was then involved in every goal for South Korea as they sealed a 3-0 win against China on Tuesday. Despite his claim, there will still likely be some fears that he is carrying a slight injury, but with Tottenham needing him now more than ever he is unlikely to miss any games.

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Postecoglou will be hoping he can take his form from the November break into the clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Aston Villa. However, the next time he plays South Korea it will be at the 2024 Asia Cup where he will miss at least three Tottenham games.

Just as the Lilywhites hope to welcome Maddison and van de Ven back from injury, they are set to lose their star striker, however an alternative has emerged. Summer signing Brennan Johnson has seen injuries plague his start to life in north London but he made quite the impression during the defeat to Wolves when he scored his first goal for the club.

Postecoglou was adamant on signing the 22-year-old from Nottingham Forest with a £47.5million deal eventually getting over the line on deadline day and his versatility was perhaps a key reason behind the acquisition. In a crunch European championship qualifier for Wales against Turkiye, Johnson was deployed down the middle by Rob Page having made all his appearances for Spurs off the left.

While his preferred position seems to be out wide, the option to use him centrally will be there for Postecoglou if he deems it necessary in the absence of Son. Wales went on to draw 1-1 with Turkiye as Johnson played the full 90 minutes.

In the first half, his appeals were waved away for a penalty with Johnson later forcing the Turkey goalkeeper into two top saves from virtually the same spot inside the 18-yard box. Alejo Veliz is another option with Richarlison also expected to be back fit by the time January rolls around, but no player appears better-suited to be Son's replacement than Johnson.

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