BREAKING: Tottenham’s 4 best players under Conte and three disappointments
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Tottenham have made an impressive start to the 2022/23 campaign, winning four and drawing two of their opening six games of the season. Antonio Conte’s spending spree in the summer transfer window is already seeing a general improvement in his squad, though three members of his team will need to improve.
Spurs welcomed seven new signings to their ranks over the summer, though Iyenoma Udogie will spend the season with Serie A outfit Udinese before heading to England. Conte was also able to rid his squad of those who were surplus to requirements and allow him to work with a smaller squad that were all in the frame for opportunities.
Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Winks, Joe Rodon and Sergio Reguilon were all loaned out to European sides, whilst Steven Bergwijn was sold to Ajax due to his limited opportunities. Conte is already reaping the benefits of his much-desired reconstructed squad, especially given they still don’t appear to have found their best form yet remain unbeaten.
The north London sides were comfortable for the most part in their victories over Southampton, Nottingham Forest and Fulham, whilst also grinding out a hard-fought win over Wolves. Four players, in particular, have shone for Tottenham: Harry Kane, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Cristian Romero and Richarlison.
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With five goals in six appearances, Kane has been one of the most impressive stars in the Premier League so far this season – and his goalscoring figure doesn’t truly do justice to his impact. The England No 9 has been superb in creating opportunities for his teammates and linking up play by dropping deeper to receive the ball – he looks the likeliest contender to rival Erling Haaland of Manchester City for the golden boot too.
Romero and Hojbjerg have also shone for Conte’s side, with their defensive work meaning that Spurs have conceded just five goals so far this season – the joint second-lowest amount in the league. Reports in the summer circulated that Real Madrid held a keen interest in Hojbjerg which raised eyebrows at the time, but the way the Denmark international has begun this season has certainly justified the speculation – especially with his two goals, levelling his tally from last season already.
Richarlison has been Tottenham’s best summer signing so far, with his displays already gaining him a fan’s favourite reputation at the club. The Brazilian’s ‘heart on his sleeve’ attitude along with impressive displays across the frontline has caught the eye, and £50million for his signature could look a steal if he continues to thrive alongside Kane.
However, Richarlison has certainly benefitted at Tottenham due to the poor form of Heung-Min Son, who has looked like a shadow of the player that tore the league up last season. Son is yet to find the back of the net in six performances, looking out of sorts at times and in need of a stroke of luck to truly kickstart his campaign.
One player who must ensure that they are at their best when opportunities arrive is Yves Bissouma, who Conte has been vocal about how he is not first-choice in midfield at this stage. The Malian arrived from Brighton with high expectations but has struggled to adjust to life under Conte in the two-man partnership in his system. Bissouma has the potential to excel at Tottenham, though his performances and cameos so far this season have not shown that yet.
Finally, the third underperformer so far this season has been Emerson Royal – which won’t surprise too many given that many thought the Brazilian was set to be sold over the summer. The right-back remains a defensive liability in right wing-back, with his end product still looking like it needs work. Royal appears to be showing a lot in training to keep Matt Doherty and Djed Spence out of the side, and if he can replicate that form on matchdays then he could surprise a large section of the Tottenham fanbase.