The third-round FA Cup against Morecambe is an audition for the first chance to replace the injured Heung-min Son for Tottenham Hotspur, so who steps up?
With Harry Kane likely to be rested and Heung-min Son out injured, there are two slots in the Tottenham attack available on Sunday. However, in the case of covering for Son, that role is longer-term, meaning for at least one Tottenham Hotspur, success on Sunday is definitely going to lead to more minutes moving forward. Who is going to get those minutes?
Two ways to replace Son in Tottenham attack
Antonio Conte has a couple of different ways that he can go about finding cover for Son, depending on who he wants to line up his team. He can continue with the three-man attacking line he has been using and use Steven Bergwijn, Giovani Lo Celso, or Bryan Gil as the left forward.
Bergwijn is the closest to being a like-for-like with what Son offers but none of the three have the South Korean’s all-around game or impact. However, all three are capable of creating things in their own way and any one of the three, Bergwijn, Lo Celso, and/or Gil should have something to prove out on the pitch.
While not providing the pace or threat over the top that Bergwijn or Son does, both Lo Celso and Gil have the ability to run at defenders and create some service for others, which is a big role for the outside forwards in Conte’s attack.
Alternatively, Conte can go back to a five-man midfield leaving only two attackers. If the Italian ops for this approach, likely Lucas Moura and someone replacing Kane would be upfront. This means it would be an attacking midfielder, rather than a wide player replacing Son in this set-up.
Dele Alli and Tanguy Ndombele become possibilities if Conte chooses to beef up the middle of the park. Also, Lo Celso and Gil could each play that role, although Bergwijn does not seem a real fit.
For Dele and Ndombele, this has to be their hope as their chances of playing and showing something seem to be running on short supply.
The good news for someone is that whoever steps up likely earns a start against Chelsea and likely a little love from the fans as well. Who will step up, we do not know for sure, what we do know is that someone has to.