Good to see Bentancur back, “he’s a warrior”
The speed of Rodrigo Bentancur’s (26, Tottenham Hotspur) recovery has been remarkable. He’s two months ahead of his original projected return.
Tottenham Hotspur defeated Bournemouth 3-1 on Dec. 31 at 11 p.m. ET in the 20th round of the 2023-24 Premier League (PL) season at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England. The win leaves Tottenham in fifth place with 12 wins, three draws and five losses (39 points).
There was a surprise name in the starting lineup. Bentancur, who had been on the sidelines since a “killer tackle” against Aston Villa in late November, was in the midfield. Bentancur combined with Pape Sarr and Giovanni Lo Celso and played 58 minutes before being replaced by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Defensively, it was a solid performance. He had five clearances, two headers, one interception, and two recoveries to stabilize the defense.
We didn’t expect Bentancur to return so soon. Multiple British outlets, including Football London, reported that Bentancur would be out until February 2024 after suffering the injury against Villa. Then coach Enze Postecoglou said he could be back in January at the earliest, but he showed great resilience and took to the field in 2023.
“Bentancur has been training with us all week, I spoke to him yesterday and he said he was in good shape,” said Postecoglu at the post-match press conference. It was great to see Bentancur back and he energized the whole team. After what he’s been through recently, he’s never let down. Bentancur is a warrior,” he said.
“It was a great match today. Apart from the win, I was most happy that Bentancur lasted 60 minutes and that he can help us in the future.”
Bentancur’s return is a huge boost. Going forward, Tottenham will be without Yves Bissouma and Pape Sara for the African Cup of Nations in January and up to February. Their absence was a big concern for the midfield, but Bentancur will be able to fill the void well.
‘Human triumph’. Bentancur was out for the 2022-23 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He didn’t return to action until October of this season, and he had to fight back tears after suffering another injury, but he came back with a monster resilience. It’s just amazing.