How to replace a string with a backspace?

str.replace() allows to replace a substring in a string with something else.

I have the problem of repeated whitespaces after the replacement:

>>> 'word word to be removed word'.replace('to be removed', '')
'word word  word'

Note the two whitespaces after the second word.

Is there a way to replace a substring with a backspace that would remove one space? (I know that the string will be made of words separated by spaces)

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