Tottenham Hotspur made a statement of intent by hiring serial winner Antonio Conte after releasing Nuno Espirito Santos from his responsibilities. Negotiations between the two parties were reported in the summer as well before the season began, but terms could not be reached. Tottenham had to return to Conte in a desperate attempt to save their team from falling far beyond redemption.
Tottenham players will not be tolerated for poor performances, according to Antonio Conte.
Nuno had lost five of his first ten Premier League games, and Tottenham’s performances raised more questions than they answered. Conte’s fiery personality and contagious passion will undoubtedly rekindle the dull spirit in the Tottenham locker room.
It is well known, however, that the Italian is a strict figure who takes no nonsense from anyone on the team or even the club’s hierarchy. He has won domestic championships with Juventus, Chelsea, and, most recently, Inter Milan. Conte will almost certainly replicate his tactics from his Chelsea and Inter Milan days at Tottenham in order to achieve immediate success.
Having said that, the new coach may not have his own favorites just yet, but he will not tolerate mediocrity from anyone. Some players will believe they have a chance to reclaim their place in the squad. Meanwhile, some may have assumed that Conte’s appointment would mean the end of their time with Tottenham.
On that note, here are five Tottenham Hotspur players who could suffer under Antonio Conte:
Number 5: Ben Davies
Many people have questioned whether Ben Davies truly deserves to be at Tottenham and whether his performances are adequate. His performance on the field hasn’t helped his cause. Davies has made nearly 240 appearances for Tottenham, and his performances have been inconsistent over the last two years.
The left-back has been used as a makeshift center-back on numerous occasions, but he is not one of those tough-guy defenders.
He hasn’t been effective in one-on-one situations as a left-back. Conte will always put his trust in Sergio Reguilon, who is both attack-minded and capable of tracking back quickly.
Conte is likely to invest in a stronger option in January to strengthen the left-centreback position in his preferred back-three.
In Conte’s debut game as Tottenham manager against Vitesse, the 28-year-old nearly gave away a penalty. He had an assist against Vitesse and will start against Everton on Sunday.
Davies may struggle to become a regular under Conte and is likely a stopgap for now.
Number 4: Harry Winks
Oliver Skipp’s rise at Tottenham has undoubtedly harmed Harry Winks, who has not played enough for his boyhood club. Conte put a lot of faith in Nicolo Barella at Inter, and while Skipp does not have the same profile, the new manager may be able to help him develop his character.
The Italian likes his players to be astute and appreciate tactical fouls. Winks’ reckless nature frequently gets him booked, and he commits fouls in dangerous areas of the pitch, which does not sit well with Conte. Under Jose Mourinho, he fell down the pecking order, and that hasn’t changed under Nuno.
Although Winks has been described as a neat player, Inter did not win Serie A because Arturo Vidal and Marcelo Brozovic were neat and tidy. Other than being a sharp passer of the ball, the England international offers nothing else.
He hasn’t kept his cool off the ball, and his movement when the team isn’t in possession hasn’t helped to protect their vulnerable backline. Conte’s system would undoubtedly benefit from a double pivot of Hjbjerg-Ndombele or Hjbjerg-Skipp. After 180 appearances for Tottenham, Winks may be ready to move on rather than becoming a permanent bench warmer.
Number 3: Steven Bergwijn
Antonio Conte knows he must trade players to build his Tottenham Hotspur club, and Steven Bergwijn is a profitable asset. Nuno gave Bergwin three straight Premier League starts for Spurs.The forward was injured just as his life was getting back on track.
Now that he’s recovered, his favorite Portuguese is gone, and in comes the fiery Italian Conte, who brings no good news. Conte will most likely capitalize on Harry Kane and Heung-min Son’s harmonious relationship, just as he did with Lukaku and Martinez. The Tottenham forwards have formed a lethal formation, and Bergwijn will not be able to play the third wheel.
The Dutchman’s finishing isn’t particularly clinical, which has often irritated Tottenham fans. He uses his speed well to get past defenders, but his end product is inconsistent.
Conte is not under any obligation to use a system at Tottenham that heavily relies on wingers, which could limit Bergwijn’s playing time. At 24, the Dutch forward understands that his prime is yet to come and that he requires regular playing time.
Number 2: Dele Alli
Conte recently stated that he would give Dele Alli the “opportunity to show his talent,” but it appears that he is a long way from being a regular starter. Tanguy Ndombele and Giovanni Lo Celso, both capable of playing as advanced attacking midfielders and in a double pivot, will compete with Alli.
The attacking midfielder’s on-field performances have fallen short of his own expectations. Alli has been criticized for not keeping up with Conte’s intensive workouts. Mourinho called Alli “lazy” in front of the Spurs squad in the Tottenham All or Nothing Documentary.
Since his debut in the 2014-15 season, Alli has made 263 appearances for Tottenham. In that time, he has scored 67 goals and assisted on 61 others. Last season, the English midfielder only had one assist in 15 Premier League appearances. It’s difficult to imagine Alli turning things around at Spurs under Conte.
Number 1: Ryan Sessegnon
Ryan Sessegnon has been a distant figure in Tottenham’s senior team since joining Fulham. Conte will look to generate funds, and the former Fulham player is the easiest exit to sanction. Sessegnon can play as a winger or a full-back on the left flank. On the defensive side, however, he does not provide enough substance for a Conte team.
He is currently out injured as a result of an injury he sustained while serving with England U21. Sessegnon, like Bergwijn, will not play in the frontline under Conte, even if he switches to a front-three.
Fabio Paratici signed Bryan Gil, a marginal player under the Italian. Therefore he should stay at the club. The Englishman has made 14 appearances for Tottenham, with a loan at Hoffenheim last season a highlight.
Conte used his wingbacks to attack the opposition at Inter, but it’s difficult to see Sessegnon’s career revived at Tottenham. The Italian is looking for quick success, and Sessegnon is unlikely to have a future under him.