London (AFP) – Tottenham Hotspur could be without France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris when manager Mauricio Pochettino takes the London side to his former club Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.
Lloris missed training on Friday due to illness and Pochettino said: “I don’t know about Hugo. It’s difficult to say, we need to wait and assess him. I think it is flu or a virus. Everyone with this weather will struggle a bit.”
Better news for Spurs fans came when Pochettino confirmed Toby Alderweireld will return to training on Saturday.
The Belgian defender has been out since November with a hamstring problem and Spurs are already targeting next week’s FA Cup fourth-round match with Newport County as a possible comeback date.
“Regarding Toby hopefully he can integrate some exercise with the group on Saturday,” Pochettino said.
“We are going to have a very busy period and we need all the squad available to play.
“If all is well he will do the warm-up with the team and will be integrated gradually with the group. He will be ready as soon as possible.
“Maybe he will play in the FA Cup, we will have all the week and we will see if he is in good position to play.”
It is five years to the week since the Argentinian took over at St Mary’s in 2013, before leading Southampton for 18 months.
“It’s always special, I had an amazing time, one-and-a-half years, it was amazing for us and our families,” he recalled.
– ‘Opened the door’ –
“Today five years ago was our debut against Everton and we only knew one or two words of English.
“Southampton opened the door in England for us. That is so important for me, I’m so proud. I’ve had a few lessons, not too much.
“I was in the dark before personally talking Spanish, now knowing English it is amazing, I am looking at a different perspective.
“I’m so proud to be part of the history of Southampton, it means a lot. A lot of people love us and we love them.”
Spurs are in the hunt for a Champions League place but Southampton are woefully out of form, sitting just one point and one place outside the bottom three.
Their manager Mauricio Pellegrino has admitted the club missed out on signing their former youth star Theo Walcott, who joined Everton from Arsenal instead.
“That is part of the market,” he said. “The market has got offers and demands.
“I think we did everything to try to bring this player here but we have to accept that. It’s part of our job.”
He added: “We have got another option and we have to continue with our job.
“Sometimes we expect this and we have to be prepared for this because it’s part of the market.”