Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Conte picks Tottenham fringe player with ‘great potential’ and promises him game time

Matthew Briggs
Antonio Conte Tottenham November 2021

Antonio Conte believes now could be Ryan Sessegnon’s time at Tottenham after revealing he believes the player has “great potential”.

Conte handed the 21-year-old his first minutes of the season in the win over Leeds. The left-back replaced Sergio Reguillon on 79 minutes and is in line to face Mura in the Europa Conference League on Thursday. Conte has said he will rotate his squad in Slovenia as he tries to assess all his players ahead of the January transfer window.

Sessegnon looks like one of those who will benefit greatly from the arrival of Conte after a nightmare last few years. After signing from Fulham in August 2019 for £25m, the versatile player has hardly featured for Spurs.

He has made just four Premier League starts in two years and just 15 appearances in total due to injuries and lack of form.

Now though Conte wants to give the Londoner a chance to impress. And he has said he has been pushing him hard in training to get him ready.

“Ryan in my opinion has great potential. We have seen in the past he suffered a lot of injuries. Now we’re trying to work in the right way with him,” said Conte at Wednesday’s press conference.

“With his type of player, it’s very important during training to push your engine to a high level and have good training sessions. In this way you’re trained during the game to bring high intensity and level of performance.

“We’re working with him for the past two weeks, now he’s ready to start the game tomorrow. And yeah, I can’t wait to see his performance because he’s a talented player. Very young with great space for improvement.

“Now it’s important to give him regularity to try to avoid injury and give him the chance to be available for every game.”

Conte insisted that all his fit players will make the trip for the Europa Conference League game.

“All the players available will come with us. They must be ready to play against Mura.

Tottenham pair Ben Davies and Ryan Sessesgnon in action in 2021

“I said on Sunday that I need to make rotation because there are players that are a bit tired because played many games with the national team and also we worked a lot in the last two weeks. There are other players that need game time,” said the Italian.

One player who will be missing is Cristian Romero. He picked up a hamstring injury while on international duty with Argentina recently and Conte believes it is “serious”.

Romero injury looks ‘serious’

“About Cristian Romero, we’re waiting for another scan. Honestly, I think his injury is serious.

“We have to wait. I don’t know now the time he needs to recovery. Surely his injury is more serious than Giovani Lo Celso or Dane Scarlett. We have to wait for the next scan and then the doctor can give more information on the dates for his recovery,” said Conte.


However, the Spurs boss claimed he was not thinking about replacing the defender in the January window.

“I have to honest in this moment I am not thinking about January because there is still a long way to go. We have many games to play and also I want to make my evaluations about the squad and players.

“Now I am very focused on the present as the present for me is very important. I need to make many evaluations about the whole squad and then we will see what happens,” said Conte.

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Spurs top-four hopes

Conte has refused to set his sights on the top four, but says he has been encouraged by the attitude of the squad.

“In this moment, we have to be focused and only to work very hard and improve. I don’t see another way to reach our target. There is only this way.

“To work hard, create the right atmosphere, to be solid in the character and be ready to suffer. There is also a good work mentally, physically, tactically.

“I have found a group of players that want to work and improve and this is a good place for me. I can arrive at any club and I want to bring my ideas but if you don’t have the ability of the players it is impossible. And I have seen positive things at Tottenham and have felt good vibes. This is a good place to start,” added Conte.

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