Tottenham have played three entertaining friendlies so far. Here are the lessons Antonio Conte can take from his side’s preseason efforts.
The Premier League campaign is only days away and Tottenham only have one friendly left before the season opener against Southampton. Transfer news is still dominating headlines in North London, but manager Antonio Conte is more focused on the players already available to him.
The final scores of the club’s three preseason friendlies aren’t important. Conte and his staff are much more concerned about the team’s performance and how individual players are looking. There has been a lot for Conte to unpack.
Here are the five biggest lessons the Italian gaffer has gotten a chance to observe over the past several weeks. Most of it is good news, but no preseason is perfect and the same is true for this effort for Spurs. Conte can start with an issue with his backline.
Tottenham: Preseason takeaways for Antonio Conte
5. The depth at center back is unsettled
The starting trio of Eric Dier, Cristian Romero, and Ben Davies is largely set in stone. Davies is struggling with an injury at the moment which has his status for the Southampton match in question. New arrival Clement Lenglet seems like the most likely man to step in his place as the left-sided center back.
The question of who will back up Dier and Romero is more complicated. Joe Rodon came on against Rangers after Dier picked up a slight knock, but he’s struggled mightily for game time under Conte. Davinson Sanchez could be the man to fill that void but he has been forced to play on the left during the preseason.
The uncertainty over Japhet Tanganga’s future has clouded Conte’s depth chart. If he secures a strongly-rumored move to Serie A then Tottenham may need to bring in another defender to provide depth. Spurs fans shouldn’t be shocked if a big-money center-back arrives later in the transfer window.