Antonio Conte has suggested following Tottenham’s 1-0 loss to AC Milan on Tuesday that Yves Bissouma might also be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
It is in the middle of the park that the Italian is particularly short of numbers, with Rodrigo Bentancur out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury and with Alasdair Gold reporting on Monday that Bissouma will be out of action for around seven to eight weeks after having surgery on his ankle.
With Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg suspended for the first leg against AC Milan, Conte had to field an inexperienced pairing of Pape Matar Sarr and Oliver Skipp yesterday. The two youngsters delivered mature displays in the middle of the park but could not stop the Spurs from falling to a 1-0 loss.
Speaking after the clash at the San Siro, Conte praised the performances of Skipp and Sarr, and suggested that they will have a big part to play until the end of the season with Bentancur and Bissouma both potentially being ruled out.
Conte told Football London: “About the two midfielders, I think that I’m really happy about the performance from Skippy and Pape Sarr. Honestly to play in this way in the Champions League and to play in the San Siro in this atmosphere, I think that normally it’s tough for important players.
“They played a really good game and I’m really happy. This type of performance make me more relaxed for the future because we have to consider that we could finish the season with only three midfielders, Pape Sarr, Skippy and Pierre Hojbjerg.
“To have this type of performance makes me more relaxed because I know that I can count on these two players 100% and I’m really happy for them.”
“He added: “About Bissouma he has a stress fracture in his ankle and when this type of situation happens you never know how long a time he needs to recover.
“In my mind, in this moment, is to consider three midfielders. To have this type of performance from Skippy and Pape Sarr makes me happy because I have seen a lot of improvement in these players and it means we are working very well with them.
“It means they are improving and for sure they will be the future for Tottenham but at the same time they will be the present.
“I have to consider them important players and with Pierre Hojbjerg we have only three midfielders and fingers crossed no injuries for the rest of the season and then we hope to recover before the end of the season Bissouma but we know about this situation I’m not sure what is the future and whether he’ll be able this season.”
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It is worth noting that Tottenham are yet to announce a time frame for Bissouma’s recovery as they have done with Bentancur.
So, it seems like the club are not yet sure when Mali international will be back. It is worrying that Conte is seemingly not optimistic that the 25-year-old will kick a ball again this season.
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