Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he will consider fielding Moussa Sissoko at right-back against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday night, as quoted by the Evening Standard.
Spurs are still without Juan Foyth following his ankle injury sustained in pre-season, while Kyle Walker-Peters suffered a hamstring injury against Newcastle United and Serge Aurier may be overlooked following his red card against Southampton at the weekend.
Pochettino has been forced to rotate through his various options at right-back since Kieran Trippier moved to Atletico Madrid in the summer, with Davinson Sanchez joining the Argentine’s natural wide defenders in playing there this season.
The Colombian was tasked with holding down the role against Arsenal and Olympiacos, but has not been included in a matchday teamsheet since Spurs’ last Champions League Group Stage fixture (TransferMarkt), which marked his return from a suspected ankle injury of his own.
If Pochettino does call on Sissoko to take up the task of defending against Bayern, it would be the first time in the 30-year-old’s career that he begins a game in defence, though it would not be the first time he has played there.
As Spurs boss Pochettino stated in his pre-Bayern Munich press conference on Monday, he tasked Sissoko with holding down duties at right-back away to Barcelona in the group stage last season and again against Southampton on Sunday.
The Argentine head coach has not yet decided who will start in the position on Tuesday night, but said: “[Sissoko] is one of the possibilities. He played there in the last 15-minutes against Barcelona last season. It’s not new.
“If you go back to my first season, you know who was my first right-back? That season [Kyle] Naughton, [Eric] Dier, [Vlad] Chiriches and in the end Kyle Walker, who was injured. If you analyse all my seasons, they were similar. Now Kyle Walker-Peters, Serge Aurier, Davinson and Saturday was Moussa for the last hour. But we are always working in similar circumstances and it’s not going to change this season. It’s not new for us.”
Whether or not the role is new for Sissoko, Pochettino would be going left field once more in his team selection by looking to fill a position in his defence with an unnatural choice whose entire career has been served in midfield.
Sissoko did not look entirely out of place against Southampton on Saturday, or against Newcastle earlier in the term, but those two sides present a much-reduced threat than what Bayern Munich are capable of.
The Bavarian giants are currently leading the Bundesliga for the average number of shots fashioned per game with 17 (6.8 on target) and key passes (12.7), as well as the second-most dribbles (14.7) to Borussia Dortmund (14.8), per WhoScored data.
Southampton and Newcastle, on the other hand, rank 6th and 20th in the Premier League for shots per game respectively, 13th and 15th for dribbles, and 12th and 19th for key passes.
Will this be Mauricio Pochettino's last season at Tottenham?
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