Pochettino expects Dele to miss opener with Aston Villa

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli during the Champions League Final against Liverpool at Wanda Metropoli

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli during the Champions League Final against Liverpool at Wanda Metropolitano (pic: Peter Byrne/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The England and Tottenham Hotspur playmaker has suffered a hamstring injury while chairman Daniel Levy is currently in Miami

Dele Alli is set to miss Spurs' opening Premier League game of the season at home to Aston Villa on Saturday, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The 23-year-old sat out Tottenham Hotspur's 1-1 draw with Inter Milan this afternoon in the International Champions Cup.

A penalty shoot-out followed the friendly encounter, which the Serie A side won 4-3, but the focus from a Lilywhites point of view was on the growing injury list.

"I don't know if the club communicate, but I don't believe he's going to be ready for the start of the season," Pochettino said of Alli.

"Yes, of course we are worried. He's still so young. Just 23-years-old and many, many hamstring problems in the last few years.

"It's to pay attention to what is going on in his body, but we are here to try to help him. I think a minor injury and only a few weeks before he can be available again and be with the group."

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Should Alli miss the fixture with Villa, he will join Juan Foyth (ankle and suspended) and Heung-min Son (suspended) in definitely being absent for the first match of the 2019/20 campaign.

The Argentinian suffered an ankle issue in the Audi Cup clash with Bayern Munich on Wednesday, but would have sat out the encounter with the Championship play-off winners anyway due to his red card at AFC Bournemouth in May.

With him out, it offers Kyle Walker-Peters an opportunity to stake a claim at right-back, especially with Serge Aurier working his way back to full fitness following a hand issue suffered at the Africa Cup of Nations last month.

Ben Davies, Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama are also recovering from issues and are not expected to be included in the squad against the Villans.

Pochettino added: "With Juan I think the medical staff are going to update in the next few days. I cannot say more because I don't know exactly how much time.

"For sure it's a tough injury and for sure it is many weeks he is going to be out. We hope he can recover as soon as possible.

"Serge, Victor and Dier they were at the training ground, for different reasons they are short in their preparation. Rather than play today it was important to train and to try to be fit as soon as possible."

Given the injury problems Tottenham have, they have even more reason to be busy in the transfer window before it closes on Thursday.

However, chairman Daniel Levy is currently in the United States, Pochettino revealed after today's clash with the Italians.

"No, he's in Miami and I didn't have the opportunity to talk to him," he said, when asked about Spurs' chairman.

"I am happy with my squad. You can see today a lot of younger players. In every season we are always open to improve the squad and to try to find the right players to be stronger and better and there are still four days. We'll see what happens in the next few days."

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