Tottenham Hotspur have ruled midfielder Tanguy Ndombele out of Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal, leaving Mauricio Pochettino short on options in the middle for the short trip to the Emirates.

Spurs confirmed ahead of Pochettino’s weekly press conference that club-record signing Ndombele remains in rehabilitation on a thigh injury, and the £60m summer signing will not be risked against the Gunners.

It leaves Spurs short on cover in midfield as Eric Dier is also struggling for fitness, having complained this week of irritation in his right hip.

Dier was on the bench for last weekend’s 1-0 home defeat by Newcastle United, though he did not get on as Pochettino elected to stick with Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko.

However, Pochettino does have both Christian Eriksen and Giovani Lo Celso to bring into the starting line-up if needed, while Dele Alli is poised to return from a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the start of the season so far.

Pochettino has been reluctant to start Eriksen after seeing his head turned by transfer interest from Real Madrid and Juventus, and with the Denmark international in the final year of his contract, the manager is reluctant to start the 27-year-old while he is not fully focussed on Spurs.

Similarly, he has eased Lo Celso into his plans this season, although following last weekend’s surprise defeat against previously point-less Newcastle Pochettino could make a number of changes to kick his side into life.

Spurs are also stuck for options at right-back, with both Juan Foyth and Kyle Walker-Peters ruled out with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively, while Ryan Sessegnon continues his individual training following his summer move from Fulham.

Pochettino has also dismissed speculation that he will quit Spurs after the north London derby, which appeared to circulate on social media enough for some bookmakers to close the market on his exit.

“That stupidity can happen through some rumour sending to social media that creates a big, big problem that doesn’t exist,” Pochettino said.

“I am not going to walk away after the north London derby. I will be here on Monday and Tuesday.”

Mauricio Pochettino insists he will not quit Spurs if they lose the north London derby against Arsenal (EPA)

Pochettino also addressed the prospect of any players leaving the club before the end of the European transfer window, which shuts next Monday night. The prospect of Eriksen heading for the exit looks to have disappeared along with Jan Vertonghen – who was left on the bench last weekend – but Serge Aurier remains free to leave and could even be overlooked for this weekend’s derby despite Tottenham’s concerns at right-back.

Yet when pressed on any updates, Pochettino responded: “No news. No news is good news.”


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