• September 27, 2021

Exclusive: Manager of the Month Nuno Espirito Santo admits ‘confusion’ as trio train in Croatia, Tottenham boss says Heung-min Son is ‘not so well’ after injury

 Exclusive: Manager of the Month Nuno Espirito Santo admits ‘confusion’ as trio train in Croatia, Tottenham boss says Heung-min Son is ‘not so well’ after injury


Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo admitted he was left confused at the situation surrounding his South American players, who will not be available on Saturday.

Argentina duo Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, along with Colombia’s Davinson Sanchez, travelled to take part in World Cup qualifiers, despite the clubs being allowed not to release them due to the games being in red-list countries.

Nuno will be without a number of key players this weekend

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Nuno will be without a number of key players this weekend

All three are currently at a training camp in Croatia from where they can travel to England after 10 days and circumvent any hard quarantine rules. 

If they had travelled straight home they would have had to stay in a Government-approved hotel for 10 days.

They will definitely miss the game against Crystal Palace on Saturday, with that game live on talkSPORT, and also the Europa Conference League game with Rennes on Thursday.

It also means they could miss Spurs’ clash with Chelsea on September 18 given their late return.

Their absence only adds to the growing list of players who will not be available for Tottenham.

Romero and Lo Celso will be unavailable for Spurs

Romero and Lo Celso will be unavailable for Spurs

Nuno, who won the Premier League’s Manager of the Month award for August, said: “I can tell you that they are in Croatia. That’s what we decided to do to try to avoid more problems.

“So the solution was to try to get them in a country where after that they can join the group. Now they are working with the sports science, a physio, in Croatia.

“They will arrive the day before the match against Chelsea so they will not be available for the Conference League game.”

The trio were set to be fined by the club for absconding, though Nuno said everything would be kept in-house.

“Like I said before, when a player is called to the national team it’s something that for us as a club makes us particularly proud because it reflects on the quality of the players that we have and we have to respect, we have to respect,” he said. “Much more of that, we’ll deal with the problems between us.

Nuno has enjoyed a good start to life as Spurs boss

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Nuno has enjoyed a good start to life as Spurs boss

“All the situation that happened… first it’s confusing for everybody because we don’t have too much news from the governing bodies on what we should do, what to expect in the next international break.

“This is the main concern for us that things can be solved for the future. But it’s really difficult to understand because first of all when a player is called up to play for his national team, that’s one the most important thing a player has, and we need to understand that.

“And at the same time we need to understand that this can happen to any of our players, not only the South American ones – our European players can suddenly be in the same situation.

“Because it’s a pandemic and no one is able to control it. More than that all the issues, all the situations, we’re going to solve it between ourselves.”

Son picked up a knock while playing for South Korea

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Son picked up a knock while playing for South Korea

Spurs were also dealt a further blow during the international break when Heung-Min Son picked up an injury and manager Nuno was downbeat about his chances of facing Palace.

“Like some of our players, he came (back) with some issues,” Nuno added. “Sonny is not so well, but let’s wait for the club to make the proper announcement and explain to you better what kind of injury he has.

“Let’s wait and see. The doctors will make the proper diagnosis.”

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