Eric Dier puts faith in Fernando Llorente to fill Kane void

Tottenham expected to be without Kane until March due to ankle injury

Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente     during his side’s victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente during his side’s victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

 

Eric Dier believes Fernando Llorente can help fill the void created by Harry Kane’s absence if Tottenham can play to the Spaniard’s strengths.

Spurs are expected to be without Kane until early March because of an ankle injury but came from behind to beat Fulham on Sunday thanks to an injury-time winner from Harry Winks. Llorente, who made his first Premier League start for the club in more than a year, scored an own goal in the first half and passed up several chances to find the net at the other end.

But with Tottenham due to face Chelsea in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday at Stamford Bridge with a 1-0 advantage from the first leg, Dier has backed the 33-year-old to find his form.

“Fernando’s a very good player. He has very good qualities,” said the England midfielder. “We need to give him the service he needs to demonstrate his qualities. We can do that and he can help the team.

Cope

“It’s not a question of if we can cope without Harry or not,” added Dier. “Harry’s one of the best strikers in the world, any team would feel the loss if Harry wasn’t playing, so we have to find a solution and move on. It’s normal – he’s one of the best strikers in the world. People are going to be talking about it when he’s injured but we’ve just got to get on with it. Injuries happen in football and that’s why you have a squad and not just 11 players.”

Nonetheless, with Son Heung-min also absent on Asian Cup duty and Dele Alli forced off against Fulham with a hamstring injury that means he is not expected to feature, Tottenham’s squad will be stretched near to capacity against Chelsea. Dier’s return from a bout of appendicitis that had kept him sidelined since the start of December was a rare piece of good news for manager Mauricio Pochettino.

“It’s another fantastic game for us, another huge game,” said Dier. “We’re going to have to be at our best if we want to win and put ourselves in a good position to do that in the first leg, so it’s just a question of preparing for the game. We know it’s going to be a really difficult game. We’ve had some fantastic games against Chelsea in the past couple of years so hopefully that’s another one.”

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