Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane could be handed a well-deserved rest for the Europa League group game against AS Monaco. The England international has made 21 appearances in all competitions this season, the most of any Spurs player during the 2015-16 campaign, following his participation in the Under-21 European Championships.
The 22 year-old has netted 10 goals this term for the north Londoners and has been a key figure during the club's 14-match unbeaten run in the Premier League. The White Hart Lane club need a point in the Europa League to guarantee they finish top of their group and avoid the top-seeded sides dropping down from Champions League in the last 32.
"[Kane] is in the squad for tomorrow (Thursday December 10) but we need to assess the situation," Pochettino explained, according to The Evening Standard. "We need to check some things before we decide the starting XI." The club are currently without five players due to injury but are set to be boosted by the return of two key figures following lengthy absences.
Nabil Bentaleb and Nacer Chadli are both in line to resume their respective campaigns after returning to training on the eve of the visit of Monaco. The Algerian Bentaleb has not played for Tottenham since August, having been out with an ankle injury. The 20-year-old did feature for Algeria in the World Cup qualifiers against Tanzania in November, but a further knock has delayed his return.
Chadli meanwhile has missed the last seven weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage in the draw with Liverpool in October. The Belgian had been an ever-present prior to his injury and is likely to make his overdue return to the first team on Thursday (10 December). Moussa Dembele will however miss the game through illness while Ryan Mason is close to resuming training with Tottenham after an ankle problem.
"Nabil Bentaleb and Nacer Chadli are both back and in the squad," Pochettino revealed. "We're very happy, it's good news. It'll make the team more competitive and push everyone. Moussa Dembele is sick and is out and maybe Ryan Mason will start training again next week.
"Tomorrow is a good opportunity to win the group – this is our objective. Maybe there will be one or two more [changes] but not much. The squad is strong enough to compete in different competitions. But maybe if you compare [the team] to the game against Qarabag there will be some changes, but not too much."
Ahead of the upcoming January transfer window, Pochettino has reiterated that he is content with his squad but remains open to additions. "We are very happy with our squad," he added. "If we have the chance to improve it, you can be sure that we will sign the player if we can."