‘Trying to anticipate the damage’ – Nuno on likely upcoming absence of Spurs pair

Nuno Espirito Santo
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur boss Nuno Espirito Santo has heavily hinted that Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso will go on international duty.

The pair were unused substitutes during Tottenham’s 1-0 win against Watford earlier today, a victory which has taken them to the top of the Premier League table.

The Daily Mail reported yesterday that sources close to the Argentinian FA are confident that the two Spurs players will report for duty, along with Aston Villa pair Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia for the World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia.

Argentina is currently on the UK’s red list, meaning that anyone returning to the country would have to quarantine in a Government-specified hotel for 10 days upon their return.

The Premier League confirmed in a statement last week that those who faced quarantine for playing in red-list countries would not be allowed to play for their national team unless they were granted exemptions.

Nuno admitted in his press conference to Football.London: “It’s a problem that doesn’t affect us but all the clubs with South American players playing in the Premier League. We have to obey the government law. We will try to do so but at the same time we don’t have any kind of help from FIFA, the government or the Premier League in support in this situation.

“We know what it means for all of the players to play for their national teams. It’s something they’re very proud of, so what we are trying to do is anticipate the situations. So expecting that not only for the next international break but also there will be a couple more, so we need to be clear.”

“Is there any player when they are called up for their national team they say no?”

“We are trying to anticipate the damage and working on that as a club.”

He admitted they will have to quarantine following their return: “We are trying to find the best way to have the players sooner when they return.”

SpursWeb Opinion

Lo Celso and Romero will miss games against Crystal Palace, Rennes and possibly even Chelsea, depending on when they actually arrive back in England.  They could face Wolves in the Carabao Cup on the 21st of September, however, it seems highly unlikely they would after sitting in a hotel room for 10 days.

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