Kevin Wimmer ready to step up for Tottenham, not thinking about leaving
MANCHESTER -- Kevin Wimmer says he is ready for another run in the Tottenham Hotspur team and insists he has not thought about leaving the club.
Spurs are without Jan Vertonghen for the next six weeks after he suffered ankle ligament damage against West Bromwich Albion earlier this month and Wimmer deputised for the Belgian at this stage of last season, when he missed 12 weeks with a knee injury.
Wimmer replaced Vertonghen in the team for Saturday's 2-2 draw at Manchester City but was substituted at the interval for goal-scorer Son Heung-Min after being booked in a difficult first half.
"It's not the first time I had this situation," Wimmer told reporters at the Etihad Stadium. "I train every day and learn a lot from the other guys, from Toby [Alderweireld] and Jan especially. I always try to look at what they do and when I get my chances, I always try to copy them a little bit.
"Of course, I try to do my best but it's not easy when you don't play every week, but you always have to be ready as a footballer -- and I am. It's always a good feeling when the manager trusts you to play in important games like today [against City].
"It's not a good feeling when any of our players are injured, especially if it's a bad injury. Jan is a strong guy, his mind is strong and he is always positive. Everyone hopes he will be back soon. With Toby too, I think the injury is not too bad but it's never good when such important players get injured."
Wimmer has found chances difficult to come by this season, starting just four Premier League games including Saturday's match, and he has been linked with a return to his former club Cologne.
"A few weeks ago when we had two days off, I went to Cologne to see friends there because I'm still in touch with them," he said. "I had a very good time there but this caused a problem because I was seen there and there were some discussions but there was never a point when I thought about leaving the club. I feel very comfortable here and it was just from the media. I never thought about going back to Germany."
Meanwhile, Alderweireld and Danny Rose will both be assessed on Monday after the former was replaced after 65 minutes against City with a tight hamstring and the latter left the Etihad Stadium with his knee in a brace.
"My hamstring was about to snap, but it feels fine now. I didn't want to risk being out for six to seven weeks," Alderweireld said after the game.
Spurs had a day off on Sunday and the squad -- including Alderweireld, Rose and Vertonghen -- flew to Barcelona for warm-weather training until Wednesday, just as they did at this stage of last season.
It is unlikely manager Mauricio Pochettino, who owns a home in Barcelona, will risk Alderweireld or Rose in Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Wycombe Wanderers, but he hopes to have them available for the trip to Sunderland in the Premier League on Jan. 31.
Erik Lamela remains in Rome recuperating from a hip problem, but a scan on Friday revealed no major concerns so he will continue his rehabilitation at former club Roma, accompanied by a Spurs doctor.
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.