Speaking to Football Insider, after the ‘devastating‘ update that right-back Matt Doherty has tested positive for COVID, pundit Noel Whelan described his absence from the Man City encounter as a ‘real blow’ – going on to say he will be ‘very much missed’ by the Lilywhites and Jose Mourinho.
Doherty, who has arguably been one of Spurs’ best summer signings, putting pen to paper on a bargain £15 million move, was only being outshined by the likes of Sergio Reguilon and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
The latter duo have attracted plenty of praise for being top acquisitions by chairman Daniel Levy, with Doherty debatably going under the radar by comparison – but pundit Whelan has come out and said that his absence from City this afternoon will be a ‘real blow’ for Mourinho.
Serge Aurier has burst into stride since Doherty’s signing, performing at a consistent level and playing a key role during Spurs’ memorable 6-1 victory at Old Trafford last month.
The Ivorian even managed to get on the scoresheet, putting in a Man of the Match display, and he looks set to start against the Sky Blues up against probable opponent Raheem Sterling on the wing.
However, he may not be as adept defensively as Doherty, with Whelan having his say over the Irishman’s absence to Football Insider.
“You look at player of that ability and somebody that Mourinho really went all out to get, it was in his mind straight away that that was his right back,” explained the pundit.
“He’s very consistent, he gives you everything going forward, defensively and he links up play.
“There wasn’t too many on his wish list, he got Hojbgerg, he got Doherty and you’ve seen what a revelation they’ve been for Tottenham.
“They’re a stronger set up for those two players so it’s a huge blow, he’ll be very much missed.”
Transfer Tavern take
While Whelan may have a case for Doherty, Aurier could still jump in his place and cement Mourinho’s faith with an assured display.
The 27-year-old has improved since the former Wolves defender arrived over the summer, and he could impress even further if he manages to put in a great display against Pep Guardiola’s side.
In other news: Spurs could have a slight Bale concern ahead of City, find out more here.
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