Tottenham Hotspur are gearing up for their first game of the season when Premier League champions Manchester City visit north London on Sunday afternoon.
Spurs have been preparing well ahead of the opening day and ensured that they would end pre-season unbeaten after beating Arsenal 1-0 in The Mind Series finale on the weekend.
That was after back-to-back victories over Colchester United and MK Dons, before a 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last Wednesday.
Son Heung-min scored the only goal of the game in the win against the Gunners but Nuno Espirito Santo’s latest twist on Harry Kane’s imminent future could effect the South Korean’s role in the team.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, the Tottenham boss confirmed that “all the players in the squad that work on a daily basis will be options for [against City]”.
This would mean that Kane, who returned to the club’s training ground on Saturday, could be in line to feature against Pep Guardiola’s side this weekend, with the striker expected to rejoin his team-mates in training later this week.
However, the England international is yet to feature for Spurs since the final day win at Leicester City and his re-introduction into the team might have a major impact on Son and Lucas Moura’s position.
Since Espirito Santo took over at the end of June, Son has playing as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation, rather than his usual left-wing berth which he was used to under Jose Mourinho.
The 29-year-old has impressed in that role, too, scoring in three of Spurs’ four friendly matches.
His goal against the Gunners perfectly encapsulated his finishing ability, as he picked up a clever position inside the box before firing home and that’s clearly something he has worked on during his time with the new boss.
With Son leading the line, Moura has been operating on the left in an attacking three behind the frontman and has also looked good in pre-season, as he scored in their stalemate with Chelsea.
But as Kane returns to full first-team training, it could see Son return to his usual left-hand side birth and Moura switched back to the right.
It would, however, mean that Steven Bergwijn misses out and Dele Alli consolidates a starting place in the number ten slot despite his poor form last season.
Espirito Santo has previously played with a 3-5-2 and a 4-4-2 formation throughout his time at Wolves, with the latter used the most recently when Fabio Silva and Willian Jose were paired up front.
He may opt to go down that route with Kane and Son as his forward pairing but it would leave him with a selection dilemma on who starts as the midfield pair.
Pierre Emile-Hojberg, Oliver Skipp, Harry Winks and Alli have all featured regularly in pre-season, but two would be forced to sit out against City if he chooses to use the two-man midfield shape.
If Kane is fit and available to face City this weekend, Son and Moura should both still have a key role to play, but it remains to be seen where they will play given the forward’s current situation.
Source by Football London