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Tottenham Hotspur suffer massive blow as defender undergoes season-ending surgery

Tottenham suffer massive blow as defender undergoes season-ending surgery
© Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur defender Destiny Udogie announces that he will miss the rest of the 2023-24 season after undergoing surgery on an unspecified injury.

Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of Champions League football, as one of their key defenders has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to injury.

Since completing his successful time at Udinese on loan last season, Destiny Udogie has become Spurs' first-choice left-back under Ange Postecoglou and has caught the eye with his dynamic displays.

The Italy international has scored two goals and set up three more in 28 matches for Spurs during the current Premier League campaign, and he played the full 90 in the 4-0 loss to Newcastle United last weekend.

Udogie has dealt with minor knee and hamstring issues this season, but he has stayed free of serious issues and was expected to play an integral role in the end-of-season run-in.

However, on Saturday evening, the 21-year-old announced on Instagram that he was forced to go under the knife to treat an unspecified problem, and he will not play again before the campaign is up.

Udogie to miss Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City fixtures amid Euro 2024 fears

Sharing a selection of pictures, including a couple of him in a hospital bed and gown, Udogie wrote: "The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

"An injury brings my season to an early end. It doesn't take away from how grateful I am to every person that has supported me this year.🤍 #blessed🙏🏾."

Udogie's campaign-ending injury rules him out of several blockbuster fixtures between now and the conclusion of the 2023-24 Premier League, starting with next Sunday's visit of North London rivals Arsenal.

The Lilywhites must also battle title-chasing Liverpool (May 5) and Manchester City (May 14) without the services of the Italian, as well as a trip to capital counterparts Chelsea on May 2.

In addition to their four taxing matches against members of the Big Six, Spurs will also face the bottom two in Burnley and Sheffield United in their final three fixtures, clashing with the Clarets on May 11 and ending their season versus the Blades eight days later.

Who could replace Udogie at left-back for Tottenham?

Tottenham Hotspur and Wales defender Ben Davies pictured in November 2022© Reuters

As Italy fans sweat over the fitness of Udogie for Euro 2024, Postecoglou and co must now work around the absence of six injured troops, two of whom could be competent replacements for the left-back.

Ryan Sessegnon was ruled out for the rest of the season two months ago due to a hamstring injury, while Pedro Porro - albeit a more natural fit on the right-hand side - is working his way back from a hamstring strain sustained at St James' Park.

Porro's possible absence against Arsenal would likely see Emerson Royal undertake right-back duties for the time being, although the Brazilian has already filled in at left-back this season during Udogie's injuries and suspensions.

However, Ben Davies will certainly be the first port of call to step in for the stricken Udogie, while Micky van de Ven could also shift across in an emergency; the Dutchman's blistering speed would make him an intriguing option at full-back.

Tottenham sit fifth in the Premier League table with six games left to play, three points behind Aston Villa with a match in hand on the Lions.

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