Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has praised Bryan Gil and compared the winger with a quality Manchester City man, while also revealing how Gil can improve.
Tottenham spent £21.4million (€25m) and sent Erik Lamela to Sevilla to sign Gil in July last year. After struggling to make an impact at Tottenham in the first half of last season, he was loaned out to Valencia.
Gil put in some impressive performances while back in Spain and there were rumours of a permanent switch to the Mestalla Stadium.
However, Tottenham opted to keep hold of the wide man, who can play on either flank but prefers to operate from the left.
Conte has kept Gil on the bench for all of Tottenham’s Premier League games this season, while the 21-year-old has also had to overcome a knock.
However, Gil is now back to full fitness and has played in each of Spurs’ last three Premier League matches.
He came off the bench against Sporting Lisbon with 20 minutes left, when Spurs were 1-0 down due to a Marcus Edwards goal.
Gil gave Spurs more life in attack and the Sporting defenders struggled to keep up with him. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with Rodrigo Bentancur bagging the equaliser. Gil’s cameo has led to suggestions he could force his way into the Spurs side for Prem outings.
Antonio Conte gives exciting verdict on Spurs man
The north London outfit face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday. At the pre-match press conference, Conte was asked about Gil. He made an interesting comparison with City’s Bernardo Silva, while also suggesting how Gil can improve.
“I believe in Gil otherwise I don’t risk a player in the Champions League,” Conte said (via football.london). “I try to find the right moment for when he can be useful for the situation… I’ve seen good improvement.
“I’m sure about Gil’s future because we are talking about a player who sees football.
“If I have to compare Gil with someone, maybe I can see him like Bernardo Silva at City. For me in this moment physically he is not strong but we are talking about this type of player.”
Conte comparing Gil to Silva will fill the Spaniard with confidence. Silva is usually one of City’s top performers, while he has won four league titles during his spell at the Etihad.
Gil doesn’t have anywhere the level of experience Silva possesses, though this will come with time. As Conte says, Gil must bulk up if he is to trouble opposition defenders like Silva.
Spurs boss discusses injuries
Conte was also asked to give an injury update on his team. “Nothing new, Richarlison and [Dejan] Kulusevski still out,” he replied.
The Italian manager was sent off after Spurs’ draw with Sporting because of how he responded to Harry Kane’s late goal being ruled out.
Conte said his team suffered ‘injustice’ and that VAR is ‘doing a lot of damage’. And he refused to withdraw his criticism of the officiating on Friday.
“What I thought [on] Wednesday and I said what I said. It was the same, I didn’t change my mind,” Conte said.
When asked about his first year at Spurs, Conte added: “I always say that I am enjoying my time in Tottenham and in one year we had a great path together, with club, players, fans and you [media].
“I think I am enjoying every single moment in my adventure in Tottenham. For sure I discover a modern club, a club with a fantastic training ground and amazing stadium.
“The passion of the fans, at the same time the demands of our fans. The demand is very high. I continue to enjoy every day.”
Attention then turned to Spurs’ recent form. They have only won one of their last four matches in all competitions.
“I think for sure every team playing in Europe is a bit tired, especially Premier League teams that play both and play massive games,” Conte admitted. “For this reason [you] have to pay great attention to rotation and play a strong team.”