Football: Crocked Kane won't change Pochettino's plans

LONDON • Harry Kane's ankle injury that will sideline him until March was tough to take but has not affected the club's January transfer window plans, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino told Sky Sports on Wednesday.

The striker damaged left ankle ligaments during the 1-0 Premier League loss to Manchester United at Wembley last Sunday and will be out for at least six weeks.

Spurs are already without forward Son Heung-min, who left after the United game to play for South Korea at the Asian Cup which runs until the Feb 1 final.

But France midfielder Moussa Sissoko, who injured his groin before half-time in the United defeat, should be fit for the League Cup semi-final second leg at Chelsea next Thursday. Spurs lead 1-0 from the first game at Wembley.

Pochettino said it was "tough" to be without "one of the best strikers in the world" but added that it could be an opportunity for the academy players.

He said: "We were always open to improve with Harry in (good) condition or not, but we know it is going to be difficult to add the player we want. It didn't change our mind, it's a very good opportunity for players to play more, to step up. I'm sure it's going to be a good opportunity for young players from the academy to show their quality."

He has brought several youngsters into the first team squad, with midfielder Oliver Skipp and Argentinian defender Juan Foyth already featuring this season. But he is likely to rely on the experienced Fernando Llorente as a replacement for Kane, while speedy Brazilian forward Lucas Moura should be back from injury soon.

"We know what it means to have Harry Kane fit, but we have a squad and (his absence) can't be an excuse," Pochettino said, ahead of the Premier League match at Fulham on Sunday. "We need to play with the same mentality - thinking we can beat any team."

Meanwhile, midfielder Mousa Dembele joined Guangzhou R&F yesterday on a three-year deal. The Belgian international, 31, will cost the Chinese Super League club about €12 million (S$18.55 million).

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2019, with the headline 'Crocked Kane won't change Pochettino's plans'. Print Edition | Subscribe