Tottenham Hotspur are sweating over the fitness of full-back Kieran Trippier for their Premier League opener against Newcastle United after the England international limped out of the pre-season friendly win over Juventus. The 26-year-old was replaced by Kyle Walker-Peters after undergoing treatment on an ankle problem, which makes him a doubt for the start of their campaign at St James' Park.
The severity of the injury will be discovered on Monday [7 August] when Trippier undergoes tests on the problem, leaving Spurs with an anxious wait to learn whether he will be fit for the season opener. Kyle Walker's departure to Manchester City leaves Pochettino with just one senior right-back having been unable to sign a replacement this summer. "Kieran twisted his ankle and we need to wait until Monday to assess him," the Argentine boss explained.
Twenty-year-old Walker-Peters, who has never made a senior appearance for Tottenham but featured for the victorious England team at the Under-20 World Cup, could be called upon to make his Premier League debut against Rafael Benitez's Newcastle side.
"He's very young," Pochettino said, according to London.Football, after the 2-0 win over Juve. "It's true that to think and to give the big responsibility like Kieran, it's too much today for him. He's a player that needs to work with us and maybe start to play in different games but we cannot think that he is, in the case of Kieran weeks away from the team, only he can replace him."
Last season's Premier League runners-up face a tough start to the season with a trip to Newcastle on Sunday [13 August] who beat them 5-1 in their last meeting in the north east. The visit of champions Chelsea for their first league game at Wembley then follows for Pochettino's men, but they do start the campaign off the back of an impressive pre-season result.
Goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen in either half ensured Tottenham ended their preparations for the new season in winning fashion against the Champions League runners-up. Pochettino was thrilled with the result and the opportunity to improve his side's fitness ahead of next weekend.
"The most important thing is the performance and trying to get fit," he admitted to Tottenham's official website. "In pre-season you know the team is working the day before (a match) and that's not a good reference, the most important reference is the feeling you can get and then how you play.
"I'm happy with the performance, many players improved a lot and reached another level, step by step. Now we have one clear week to work hard and arrive in perfect condition at Newcastle."