Ange Postecoglou has Tottenham wildcard and three other options as he makes left-back decision

Ange Postecoglou has a decision to make ahead of Saturday's game against Burnley
Ange Postecoglou has a decision to make ahead of Saturday's game against Burnley -Credit:Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou has a big decision to make this weekend when it comes to who starts at left-back for Tottenham in their Premier League encounter against Burnley. Without Destiny Udogie and Ben Davies for the remainder of the season through injury, Emerson Royal got the nod in last Sunday's 4-2 defeat at Liverpool but he unfortunately suffered a day to forget.

Guilty of watching the ball as Mohamed Salah ghosted in behind him to score Liverpool's first of the contest, the Brazilian then lost possession to Harvey Elliott outside the box that resulted in Cody Gakpo scoring the Reds' third. Emerson's pitch time came to an end shortly after, with Oliver Skipp coming on at left-back for the closing stages.

"We're playing him out of position and it's kind of the way our season has gone," said Postecoglou in his post-match press conference when asked about Emerson. "Whenever we've had injuries, invariably we've had them in the same part of the pitch.

"Both our left-backs are out and it's kind of forced him out there. It's not great for him and he's up against a pretty good player in Mo [Salah]. Again, that's something we have to deal with."

With Skipp performing well in his 29 minutes of playing time and having a role to play in Son Heung-min's goal, the midfielder may have given Postecoglou something to think about ahead of this weekend. So what exactly are Postecoglou's options when it comes to who he can play at left-back at home to Burnley? takes a look below.

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Emerson starts

The first option Postecoglou has is to keep faith with Emerson at left-back. The former Real Betis man has filled in at left-back on a few occasions this season and performed well on the whole, with Sunday's defeat at Liverpool very much an off-day for the player.

Emerson did contribute at Anfield with a couple of vital contributions, including a key tackle on Salah in the box and a very good block to stop Trent Alexander-Arnold's powerful drive testing Guglielmo Vicario. With a full week on the training ground and the opportunity to go again in the Premier League, Emerson, if he starts, will be looking to impress and deliver a big performance as Tottenham chase a top-four finish.

Keep Skipp at left-back

Going on Skipp's strong showing in an unnatural position of left-back, Postecoglou could choose to reward the midfielder with a start in the back four. Due to the head coach's demands when it comes to his full-backs, Skipp's midfield qualities may well work in Tottenham's favour.

Comfortable on the ball and able to pick out a pass, the player would find coming inside into the central areas natural, which is something Emerson struggles with as it's not part of his game. The Spurs academy graduate is also very good defensively, thus strengthening his case even more for a starting spot.

If Postecoglou does see Skipp as a realistic choice there, a full week on the training pitch operating as a left-back would really help him out.

Dragusin comes in

Following the injury blow regarding Udogie, a number of Tottenham fans have called for Micky van de Ven to be utilised as a left-back. The Dutchman is no stranger to the role having previously played there for Volendam, Wolfsburg and the Netherlands in the past.

However, a switch across to the left would mean breaking up his excellent partnership with Cristian Romero. One player that change would benefit is Radu Dragusin, who has had to contend with a bit-part role ever since his transfer from Italian side Genoa in January.

The Romanian has only played six times for Tottenham so far, with two of those coming from the start of games in March as he was named in the starting XI against Fulham and Luton Town. It's certainly an option for Postecoglou but whether he would want to move Van de Ven from his best position is another matter.

The head coach could potentially even put Dragusin to left-back if he really wanted to as he has played as a full-back in the past, although that was on the opposite side of the pitch.

Wildcard option

There is a wildcard option available to Postecoglou if he wants to play it. With Skipp having the qualities to play at left-back, Giovani Lo Celso also falls into the same category.

The midfielder is very good on the ball, progressive with his passing, likes to get forward and would be more than comfortable in those central areas as it is his game. There is also the added bonus that Lo Celso is left footed and that means he would feel at home on the left flank and it wouldn't feel completely unnatural like it would for a right-sided player to operate from the left.

However, Skipp's defensive qualities may give him the edge over his teammate.

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