With three games gone so far, we are starting to see how Antonio Conte is planning on utilising his new boys. Some of the signings are beginning to be integrated into the team already, with Perisic making his first start for the club in a 1-0 home win against Wolves. However, others are struggling to even make an appearance and could be loaned out in the next transfer window. Let’s have a look at how each player is settling in and what role we can expect them to play going forward.
The Croatian wing-back was someone Spurs fans expected to see break into the starting line-up. He failed to do so in Tottenham’s first two league games, after an impressive display from Ryan Sessegnon kept him on the sidelines. This was until he came on and salvaged a point for his underperforming team against Chelsea with a beautiful set piece delivery, something Conte clearly appreciated. This gave the Italian manager enough evidence to start Perišić and it wasn’t something he was going to regret.
The world-class attributes the former Inter man possesses showed as he put in a dominant display. This was topped off by a delightful flick from the near post onto Harry Kane allowing the Englishman to become the highest Premier League goalscorer for a single club (with his 250th goal for the club).
One start in Lilywhite and two assists is a strong showing for a player appearing to be crucial for the North London side this season.
After not being included in the squad for the game against Chelsea, Lenglet returned to the bench for Tottenham’s encounter with Wolves. Despite not making an appearance in the league yet, Lenglet is clearly going to get game time as the season goes on. He may also experience some first team game time this season if the ever reliable Ben Davies gets injured.
Having been a regular for Barcelona previously in his career, he has a wealth of experience to bring to the side. He will be a key squad member and is an improvement for Spurs’ depth, something Conte was keen to bolster in the Summer window.
Not much to report with the giant that is Fraser Forster. He was signed to be back up to Hugo Lloris and after comfortable displays in pre-season it would appear this is a role he will suit excellently.
Tottenham’s very own ‘R9’ is proving to be a fan favourite after coming on off the bench in the two previous games. Having come on to change the dynamic of the game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the Brazilian was leading the celebrations when the equaliser went in. He is a player many Spurs fans adore, whilst other teams in the league will dislike him for his gamesmanship.
His desire to win the ball back for the team and willingness to run are going to be key for Tottenham this season if he continues to come on off the bench. However, Conte recently expressed his admiration for the forward and this could be shown further with possible starts in the side. It may also be a case of the Italian starting with a front four, something he hinted at in the same press conference.
Similar to Richarlison, Yves Bissouma is yet to make a start for the team having come on from the bench in the latter stages of all three games so far. Having played around half an hour of football for the club, it is hard to tell the true impact he will have long-term from his game time thus far. Despite this, he is clearly a player with attributes that suit Conte and yet offering something different to Pierre Emile Højbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur.
With Tottenham having a lot of competitors for those two central midfield roles, it was always going to be hard for Bissouma to break in immediately. There is still plenty of football to be played and the Mali international, as well as Oliver Skipp, will get their chance to impress in cup competitions. This is a good problem for Antonio Conte to have and he has so far dealt with it expertly. It may not be long before we see Bissouma start for the Lilywhites.
Having not been signed at the request of Antonio Conte, it was unlikely for Djed Spence to be in the Italian’s plans from the outset. However, many Spurs fans would have at least hoped to have seen the former Nottingham Forest man on the bench. The last two games Spence has not appeared in the squad for the North London side but has still been in attendance, passionately cheerleading from the stands.
Despite the lack of game time, it is clear to see Spence acknowledges Tottenham as his chance to make a name for himself. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Spence make appearances in cup competitions and take his opportunity to show off his ability to Conte. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to see the English wing-back loaned out in January to get regular minutes on the pitch, depending on injuries post World Cup.
With plenty of time still remaining in this window, it is safe to say Tottenham’s business is far from over. With the recent outgoings of Giovanni Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele, it is likely additional funds made from those sales may go towards a creative midfielder and a central defender. Antonio Conte will demand the best possible squad for the season as he looks to bring Spurs’ trophy drought to an end.