Antonio Conte has revealed a player recently tipped with a premature Tottenham exit is being trained to take Harry Kane’s place in the coming weeks.
Since taking the reins at Tottenham, Conte’s forward line have gradually begun to liven up in the final third. Their second half display against Leeds United 11 days ago helped produce a superb comeback win. Nevertheless, Harry Kane remains surprisingly short of goals in the league.
Kane has registered just one league goal so far this term. If Conte has any hope of guiding Tottenham to a top four spot, getting Kane back to his best is a must.
If the 28-year-old can’t recapture his free-scoring form, the transfer window could offer a remedy. Indeed, the Sun recently suggested Dusan Vlahovic is very much on Spurs’ radar.
The Serbian marksman looks destined to leave Fiorentina in the coming windows. But until the market opens its doors, Tottenham have nine fixtures to navigate in the next 26 days.
Whether Kane can play all nine, only time will tell. But Conte’s comments via the Sun suggest he has a left-field plan to replace Kane when he is afforded a rare rest.
Conte converting Bergwijn into a No9
“I think Steven [Bergwijn] could also be a good option,” said Conte.
“We have a world class striker as a No9 in Harry and I repeat I am very delighted to have the opportunity to work with him because many times you make an evaluation outside.
“I was enthusiastic to see him in the way that he works every day and the commitment, heart and passion puts into Tottenham. It was not a surprise but when you arrive you do not know what you find. And I found this.
“We have an important No9 for sure but in the past I have seen that Son played in this position. Honestly. I prefer Son to play as a No10. that he is now playing.
“I like to have a point of reference as No9. Steven is working and we are utilising him also in this position, in the three positions of the striker. Steven could be a good option on the day that I want to give a rest to Harry.”
Bergwijn operates primarily as a winger and was recently linked with a premature exit back to the Netherlands with Ajax.
However, Conte’s comments in the Sun, along with his public backing of Bergwijn earlier this week, would suggest the Dutchman still has a role to play in the new Tottenham era.
Vlahovic first part of five-pronged Tottenham splurge
Meanwhile, Tottenham will aim to take a page out of Arsenal’s book after their transfer strategy that would see Vlahovic join as one of five potential new signings was revealed, per a report.
Arsenal splashed out around £140m in the summer on six new signings. Each of the six were aged under 24 at the time. The bulk of those new faces are already making an immediate impact under Mikel Arteta.
Now, according to the Sun, Tottenham are aiming to provide Antonio Conte with a similar set of results in the market.
They claim Spurs have ‘identified’ five rising stars across Europe that are ‘all being eyed for potential moves’. Following Arsenal’s lead, each of the quintet are aged 25 or under, though all would be more than capable of slotting straight into Conte’s first eleven.
Vlahovic was the headline-grabbing name on the list, though the other four would all bring impressive credentials.
Midfield trio Franck Kessie, Nicolo Barella and Denis Zakaria were also namechecked. They were joined by Fenerbahce centre-half Kim Min-jae in rounding out the five-man shortlist.