Harry Kane out until March with ankle ligament injury
Tottenham talisman Harry Kane has sustained an ankle ligament injury that will likely see the striker out until March. Kane is set to miss both Champion’s League last-16 matches against Borussia Dortmund, as well as the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea.
Kane sustained the injury in the dying seconds of the defeat to Manchester United on Sunday, after appearing to trap his leg between Phil Jones and Victor Lindelöf. The England captain was sat on the pitch for a few minutes after the game, before hobbling off with support from a teammate.
The ankle was too swollen for an accurate assessment immediately after the match, but scans conducted when the swelling reduced showed damage to the ligaments in Kane’s ankle.
This injury is one in a long list of ankle problems for Kane. Two separate ankle injuries in the 2016/17 season saw him miss a combined 14 games, while he was also out for 20 days last season for another ankle injury.
Tottenham undoubtedly weaker without Kane
The injury is a crushing loss to Spurs at a crucial point in the season. It’s well-known that Spurs have little cover for Kane. Back up strikers are Fernando Llorente, who has just four goals in 13 matches for Spurs this season, and Vincent Janssen, who could be on his way out and hasn’t played for Spurs since 2017.
But the timing of the injury is compounded by the fact that Son Heung-Min has departed for the Asian Cup. Son will be absent for around four matches and may have filled in for Kane as a false nine. The South Korean scored and earned a penalty as his team topped their group and are tipped to go all the way.
The impact of the loss of both Kane and Son cannot be overstated. Kane is currently the league’s joint top-scorer with 14 goals. Between them, Kane and Son have scored almost half (47%) of Tottenham’s goals this season.
It seems logical to expect that Spurs are weaker without a striker of Kane’s calibre playing. Since the 2014/15 season, Tottenham have won 90 games, drawn 31, and lost 30 with Kane playing, with a 60% win percentage. Without the forward there have been just 13 wins, 5 draws, and five defeats, giving a win percentage of 57%. The difference is not huge, but with Son also absent, the omens are not good for Tottenham fans.
Tottenham famously became the first team not to make a purchase in last summer’s transfer window. With Pochettino appearing not to trust Llorente and seeing no place for Janssen in his team, perhaps he will be pressing Daniel Levy to dip into his pockets to finally find adequate cover for Kane. But with the costs of Spurs’ stadium move adding up, the funds simply may not exist.