Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou welcomes return of ‘warrior’ Rodrigo Bentancur

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou is delighted to have “warrior” Rodrigo Bentancur available again.

Bentancur, who only returned from a serious knee injury in October, provided Spurs with a timely fitness boost when he started Sunday’s 3-1 home win over Bournemouth.

The Uruguayan had been expected to be sidelined until February after he tore an ankle ligament in November.

Postecoglou was braced for a difficult January with Pape Sarr and Yves Bissouma set for African Cup of Nations action, while James Maddison is still injured, but he can call upon Bentancur for matches with Burnley, Manchester United and Brentford.

“He trained all week with us and speaking to him (Saturday), he felt really good about how he was feeling,” Postecoglou said.

“We kind of knew there would be a time limit to how much we could get out of him. It was great to see him out there again and he gives the whole group a lift.

“Not just because he is a fantastic player but this group has seen what he’s gone through in recent times and within that context, he’s never let it get him down.

“He is a warrior. The frustrating thing for all the guys missing out at the moment is they want to help and he wanted to help.”

Tottenham’s list of absentees remains lengthy, with Alejo Veliz forced off with a suspected knee injury against Bournemouth and Sarr tearful when he had to be substituted with a hamstring problem.

The duo will be assessed in the coming days but Sarr has since expressed a confidence that he will be fine to compete at AFCON with Senegal.

Any absence of Veliz would be ill-timed given he was primed for minutes with captain Son Heung-min set to be away with South Korea for the whole of January at the Asian Cup.

Postecoglou can now call upon Dane Scarlett again after he was recalled from his season-long loan at Ipswich last week and the forward is expected to be in the squad for Friday’s visit of Burnley in the FA Cup.

Defender Ben Davies told SpursPlay: “The FA Cup is special. It’s a trophy at the end of the day. It’s something we want to go far in and really have a go at this year.

“Burnley might not be picking up the points in the Premier League, but they are a good side, they play attacking football and it will be tough.”

Bournemouth travel to QPR in the FA Cup third round on Saturday eager to bounce back from their first defeat since November 4, but head coach Andoni Iraola was pleased with their display in N17.

Iraola said: “You have to score goals and they were much better than us in the final third finishing-wise.

“I am really happy with the performance. We play with strong personality against top opposition.

“We had our chances, we had a lot of ball in their box and played around their half, but it wasn’t good enough to score the (equaliser) and put them under pressure.”