Antonio Conte added six new faces to the Tottenham Hotspur squad this summer. Fraser Forster, Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison, Clement Lenglet (loan), and Djed Spence all joined the club in the past couple of months.
However, some Spurs fans would have been surprised to see that none of the new faces were on display when the starting XI was released for the game against Southampton. Conte clarified the reason behind it in his post-match interview (h/t Football.London):
“My message was very clear that I trust a lot in the old players and in this moment they are more reliable than the new players because they need to continue to work with us and continue to implement football knowledge. With the old players, I am in a step forward.”
Conte had a good amount of time in pre-season with the new arrivals but in hindsight, made the sensible choice to stick with the old guns. He continued:
“I am really happy because we have new signings that are going into our process and for sure they will help us to improve, but at the same time they have to know they have to fight and they have to give me the possibility to make rotations.”
Conte seems to be reminding the new arrivals that there is work to be done if they want to be a part of his starting XI. Forster is unlikely to displace Hugo Lloris as our No. 1 between the sticks while Djed Spence is way below the pecking order when it comes to our starting right-backs.
Lenglet can get minutes if Conte decides to rotate our current back-three or try out the Frenchman in place of left-back-turned-centre-back Ben Davies. Richarlison would do well to make himself a starter in our current front three that has Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, and Dejan Kulusevski.
Yves Bissouma also has Rodrigo Bentancur as his competition if he wants to partner Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in midfield. Perisic is perhaps one player we can expect to see start once he is back to his 100%, despite Ryan Sessegnon’s opening day heroics against the Saints.
Lenglet, Perisic, and Bissouma did come off the bench against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side in our 4-1 win, but it remains to be seen if they will start in the derby vs Chelsea next weekend.