Tottenham’s Carabao Cup opponents Stoke City must choose between a 19-year-old debutant and a veteran loanee who hasn’t played a competitive game for 21 months, as to who plays in goal for this week’s quarter-final.
Stoke are in the midst of an incredible freak injury crisis between the posts with five goalkeepers either injured or cup tied for Wednesday’s tie.
Michael O’Neill has lost Adam Davies (knee), loanee Angus Gunn (knee), short-term signing Niki Maenpaa (fractured thumb) and Nathan Broome (shoulder) to injuries, while Joe Bursik, who’s now Stoke’s No1, played in the competition while on loan at Doncaster earlier in the season.
That leaves O’Neill with emergency loanee Lonergan, whose last competitive appearance was for Rochdale against Scunthorpe in March 2019, and untested 19-year-old Blondy Nna Noukeu.
Under-23 ‘keeper Noukeu, who joined Stoke in 2019 from Belgian side Royal Excel Mouscron, was called up by the Cameroon national team in October but is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Potters.
Lonergan, signed earlier this month on a short-term deal, is also doubt for the clash having suffered flu over the weekend and if the 37-year-old doesn’t make it, then O’Neill will be forced to put 18-year-old Robbie Hemfrey in the squad.
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“We have three injured goalkeepers and it’s a difficult situation. We have young Blondy as well, who was on the bench against Blackburn,” O’Neill told Stoke-on-Trent Live.
“Andy has had a virus, cold and flu, over the last 24 to 48 hours. We’re mindful of that but hopefully he’ll be ok for the game on Wednesday.”
Stoke take on what’s expected to be a much-changed Spurs starting XI, after a run of one defeat in their last seven games which has lifted them into seventh in the Championship.