Nuno admits Tottenham man is ‘struggling’; probed about Kane’s commitment

Nuno Espirito Santo Tottenham boss looks on

Nuno Espirito Santo admitted that Ryan Sessegnon is “struggling” after watching the midfielder in Tottenham’s 3-0 win over Pacos de Ferreira.

The victory was enough to send Spurs into the  Europa Conference League group stage after their 1-0 first-leg defeat.

Harry Kane started his first game of the season in the second leg. The England captain announced on Wednesday that he would be staying at Spurs this summer having been keen on a move to Manchester City and was captain on the night.

New signings Cristian Romero and Bryan Gil were given first home starts. Spurs had firepower on the bench, with Son Heung-min, Dele Alli and Steven Bergwijn among the substitutes.

Kane needed just nine minutes to remind Spurs fans why they loved him as he expertly controlled Gil’s pass and then slotted home his 223rd goal for the club.

Kane doubled his tally 11 minutes before the break as he controlled a loose ball in the area after Giovani Lo Celso had a shot blocked and fired into the bottom corner.

Lo Celso whipped in a free-kick from an acute angle to make it 3-0 with 78 minutes on the clock.

Sessegnon featured for 63 minutes before being replaced by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Espirito Santo believes he has plenty more in his locker than he showed.

“I will start with Sessegnon. I think he is struggling, he is struggling. A lot of time out of competition. He has talent. He is a player that can give us good things. One vs ones, crossing, he has energy but he did not do all that he has today,” said Espirito Santo.

“I truly believe that he has much more that he can give.

“I think Bryan (Gil) did a good game in a different position in the midfield today. He was full of energy and this is what we wanted, reaction to loss of the ball, talent.

“He brings talent and every time he goes to the final third of the pitch his is a player who needs to improve in his decision-making but we are here to support him.”

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Kane committed

Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur v Pacos de Ferreira

The Spurs boss also insisted Kane is committed to the club after his U-turn this week.

“I see Harry every day since he’s joined us. Every day. He doesn’t have to prove anything. He’s committed. Everything that’s happened with the situation before, it’s in the past,” said the Portuguese coach.

“I see him today in the training sessions. I saw him today at the end of the game, now it is time to recover. Kane is one more that will help us.

“He played good, he scored, he had good movements, he helped the team in possession, out of possession kept his shape, helped recover the ball.


“He is still improving. But playing is the best way for all players to improve, to compete and the edge of the game is what takes players beyond their limits and that is what we expect from all of them?”

Asked about the fans’ support for Kane, he said: “It was good, our fans are amazing. The support they give for all of us. Even in the training session we had here, the energy you can see.

“This is what we want, this bond for them to enjoy we give everything we have and supporting themselves in the stands. Creating this energy is good for us.”

Assessing the victory, he added: “I think we played a good game from the first minute. We didn’t allow any chances, we played good movements and scored early, it makes things easier.

“We scored again and every moment the game was in control. Good individual performances, good play. In the second half we created the chances, I think we had too many clear chances that we should do better. But really pleased.”

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