Tottenham assistant Cristian Stellini played down an injury concern for Richarlison after the ex-Everton forward missed Saturday’s 3-0 FA Cup win at Preston.
Richarlison has been limited to only three substitute appearances since the World Cup having been struggling with a hamstring problem.
He was expected to come into contention for a start at Deepdale with Harry Kane recovering from an illness, but was not in the matchday squad, and Stellini later revealed Richarlison was missing with an adductor problem.
However, the Italian said the injury was not serious and Richarlison should be back in training next week as Spurs prepare for the visit of Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday.
“He has a small problem in the last few days,” Stellini said. “We tried to recover him, but it was not a good idea. We had just Harry Kane sick and so it was not a good idea to risk him. We will find Richarlison next week.”
Asked if the injury was related to the hamstring issue, Stellini added: “No, no, no, it was a different injury. He recovered well. He has a small problem in his adductor, but nothing serious.”
Tottenham have added to their attacking options this week with the loan signing of Arnaut Danjuma, hijacking Everton’s move for the Villarreal forward.
And Danjuma wasted no time in settling in as he grabbed his first goal for the club at Preston, coming off the bench to turn in Dejan Kulusevski’s cross and finish off the tie after Son Heung-min’s second-half brace.
“For Danjuma, it’s a good start for him to score in the first game but we are looking forward to working with him, we have to discover this guy,” Stellini said. “He can play many positions in the front three.”
The final score at Deepdale perhaps made Tottenham’s progression to the fifth round of the Cup easier than it was. Although they dominated the ball in the first half they were largely limited to shots from distance by a disciplined Preston side.
The difference came five minutes after the break when another of those long-range efforts, a fine left-footed strike from Son, found the corner of the net. Once Spurs were in front, the outcome was not really in doubt.
“We are happy because we started the game like we expected,” Stellini said. “We made some changes but nothing changed from the last performance so we have to be happy for that.
“We created a comfortable second half because we played a great first half. The ball moved quickly and we had only to wait for the right moment to find the solution like Sonny did and it was a great performance…
“Preston defended very well in the first half, they ran a lot. The three at the back, they never allowed (Preston) to counter-attack in the first half, and it was a good first half. Then the difference in the second half was Sonny finding the target and that created the comfort.”
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