If you display the field vertically, the answer is easy: make the field so narrow that the native VL items disappear, and only the buttons are visible.
Displaying it horizontally (as in your example) takes a bit more work; you may think (well, I did …) that you can take the vertical, narrow field and rotate it; alas, on entry the field will (temporarily) snap back to its original orientation.
Solution: create three value lists, each one with a single entry from the original value list; apply them to three copies of the field, then use the “vertical solution” – make the narrow.
But in my list view I am very much restricted in terms of space
Or use a popup / dropdown …?
Yeah, that seems like more work that is worth. I think I will just use a popup. This is a special case type of field anyway, so when needed, user can just choose. Not really necessary to see all 3 choices.