Dragusin to get Spurs shot due to Van de Ven injury

rugby15 March 2024 16:15| © AFP
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Ange Postecoglou © Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou revealed that Radu Dragusin will be handed his first Tottenham start away to Fulham on Saturday as Micky van de Ven misses out through injury.

The Romanian centre-back has had to be patient for a chance to shine since joining Spurs from Genoa for £25 million ($32 million) in January.

"I'll take the suspense out of it. He'll start tomorrow," said Postecoglou at his pre-match press conference.

"It's a good opportunity for him. We obviously brought him in with a view that it was evident we were very short in that area and he'd had a very good half-season in Italy.

"He's had to be patient and I said to him when we signed him I couldn't tell him when he'd get an opportunity but he would get an opportunity."

Dragusin replaced Van de Ven early in the second half of Tottenham's 4-0 thrashing of Aston Villa last weekend to close in on the top four.

Postecoglou's men can climb above Villa into fourth in the Premier League with victory at Craven Cottage and the Australian is backing Dragusin to make a good impression.

"I think he can bring something to the team. He's a very strong defender, very good in the duels and I think we're going to need that tomorrow," added Postecoglou.

"More than anything that half-an-hour at least gives him that game time he needs at the level.

"He was exposed to a very good team and some very good opposition players. I think that will help him tomorrow, particularly at the beginning of the game."

Postecoglou is hopeful Van de Ven will be back after the international break to feature in the final 10 Premier League games of the season.

And Tottenham received another injury boost with the news that Richarlison could be available against Fulham.

The Brazilian had scored nine times in 12 games prior to missing the last two matches with a knee injury.

"He trained today so we'll just see how he pulls up," said Postecoglou. "If he pulls up OK, he'll probably be available."

Postecoglou also spoke of the privileged position he and his players are in after being visited by a group of young fans with Down's syndrome this week.

The Spurs boss' interaction with one supporter, Owen Bright, went viral on social media and Postecoglou said such meetings were just as rewarding for him and his players.

"I get a lot of joy out of it too. It is not every day you walk out to training and someone runs up to give you a hug. It's not the usual greeting I get!"

He added: "We get equal joy out of it, mate, because it's such a fantastic feeling to see people who are passionate about their football club and how much joy it gives them.

"Yeah, it's just a privilege to be in that space."