Tottenham forward Dejan Kulusevski suffered an injury scare during Sweden’s World Cup qualifier play-off against the Czech Republic last night, though his comments suggest he won’t miss any time.
The 21-year-old went to challenge for a header in the 55th minute along with David Zima, which saw the Czech defender make contact with the left side of the Tottenham player’s face.
The Swede required treatment on the field with an ice-pack administered to his cheek.
Kulusevski was deemed capable of continuing and completed the full 120 minutes with the stakes riding high for his country in extra time. Sweden would go on to win the match 1-0.
But in the post-match fall-out, Kulusevski admitted his worry when the incident initially happened.
“I got a little worried” – Kulusevski
“It started to spin for a few seconds and I got a little worried,” said Kulusevski (via Swedish outlet Fotbollskanalen).
“I thought it was the head, but then it turned out well. I was just trying to get angry to get energy from it.
“[I] could not have forgiven myself. I thought we had to win this. We cannot lose to Czech Republic at home. It cannot happen.
“It was a fantastic goal by Alex (Isak) and Robin (Quaison). Now we have to win against Poland and I look forward to it.”
Sweden travel to Poland with a place in Qatar later this year up for grabs.
“I’m just happy. It was an incredible match. A strange match. A boring match. A difficult match. But I do not care. We won 1-0 and will play against Poland now. We have to win there too,” Kulusevski added.
“Poland have rested, so they certainly feel good, but when it comes to matches like this, it is the smartest who wins. It’s not about who is the best or who has the most energy. It’s about who’s smart.
“We are winners in this team, so I think we will win.”
The fact Kulusevski was given the green light to continue would suggest any Spurs fears are allayed. However, his inclusion against Poland on Tuesday will clear up any doubt once and for all.
The Sweden winger, 21, has hit the ground running since joining Spurs on loan in January.
Kulusevski has two goals and four assists to his name thus far. He has been Antonio Conte’s preferred choice to complete his front three alongside Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Tottenham retain genuine hopes of overhauling Arsenal to secure fourth spot. Kulusevski will no doubt be crucial to their aims given he has quickly earned the favour of Conte.