Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham make complete U-turn over star’s January exit as key role emerges

Tottenham are reportedly no longer willing to entertain offers for Steven Bergwijn, with Antonio Conte optimistic the forward can use his stoppage-time heroics at Leicester as a springboard to kickstart his career in north London.

The Holland star came off the bench late on to salvage Conte’s unbeaten Premier League record, netting twice in 80 seconds to secure a 3-2 win for Spurs at the King Power Stadium on a dramatic night.

His finish for the winner highlighted the qualities why Tottenham splashed out £27.8million to sign him in January 2020.

Prior to his heroics on Wednesday night, Bergwijn had been left out of the squad for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals against Chelsea as speculation continued over his future.

Spurs have already rebuffed an offer in the region of £15m from Ajax for his services. However, the Eredivisie giants are expected to return with another offer after selling David Neres to Shakhtar Donetsk to fund the transfer.

But according to the Daily Express, Bergwijn’s display at Leicester means he is going nowhere this month.

Indeed, Conte admits he is ready to use the Dutchman more, given that he is a big fan of his abilities.

Speaking after the Leicester win, he said: “In the past when someone asks me about Steven Bergwijn, I was very clear. I said that for me he is an important player because he has characteristics that in our squad we don’t have many creative players.

“He is very good in one vs one, good to beat the man. He can play striker, he can play number 10 and for us, for me. He’s an important player and we have to try to improve, to become stronger, not to lose a player and become less strong.

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Bergwijn a game-changer

“Steven is a player that if he’s in good physical condition and he has good fitness, he can start the games or he can come in and change the game.

“For me, I think he’s an important player and you know very well the player has to be happy and I think the player is happy to stay with us and play for Tottenham.”

After his midweek heroics, Bergwijn could now be handed a rare start in Sunday’s Premier League clash Chelsea.

Tottenham are still without Son Heung-Min for a few more weeks, so Bergwijn’s return to form has come at just the right time.

The 24-year-old has similar qualities to the South Korean, with his ability to run in behind when Harry Kane drops deeper.


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Meanwhile, Spurs have been given more hope of securing a coup signing as a Serie A giant is already seeking a replacement for their target, a report suggests.

It’s shaping up to be a make-or-break year for Spurs. With Antonio Conte at the helm, they finally have some pulling power to back up their ambitious expectations. But their pursuit of Dusan Vlahovic has shown it won’t be straightforward.

The Fiorentina striker appeared to be in the north London club’s sights last year. But in the past couple of months he has slipped from their grasp.

And now their rivals Arsenal seem to be in pole position. However, Conte, and director of football Fabio Paratici, both have extensive connections in Italy.

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That has allowed them to bounce back and become players in the situation surrounding Juventus’ Paulo Dybala.

He is set to be available on a free transfer at the end of the season. Tottenham are reportedly in a two-man race with Inter Milan for his signature.

Dybala’s club have now furthered suggestions that he will not sign a new deal. They are looking at Mauro Icardi, as per Football Italia.

The PSG man, who previously played for Sampdoria and Inter, has been a long-term target of the Old Lady.

Icardi tipped for loan move

He could finally be their’s with a loan switch in the January transfer window.

Icardi’s French owners want his permanent exit from the club. And the man himself is also seeking a return to Italy for good.

Juve aren’t able to afford that this month, though signing him in the summer appears to be more achievable. And that would fill the gap left by Dybala.

Paratici is reportedly already in contact with his agent over a prospective free-transfer switch.

Spurs’ chances of signing the forward, who has seven goals in 16 league appearances this season, have never been higher.

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