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Antonio Conte says Tottenham player with one PL start this season ‘will probably play’ vs Crystal Palace

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Antonio Conte drops huge Bryan Gil selection hint for Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace

Manager Antonio Conte started the season with Harry Kane, Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison, Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min, and Bryan Gil as his options up front.

Kane, Deki, Richy, and Son were expected to be the first four in the pecking order, which they have been. But injury issues to all of them barring the England international at different points this season has complicated matters.

Conte, previously, has been reluctant to trust Gil up front and instead fielded a 3-5-2 formation a few times this season instead of starting the Spanish winger up front in the absence of two key forwards.

Former teammate teases January loan for Tottenham Hotspur ace Bryan Gil.
Bryan Gil won the Olympic Silver medal with Spain in the recent Olympics.

But Rodrigo Bentancur’s injury that he suffered with Uruguay at the 2022 FIFA World Cup group-stage clash against Ghana, he hasn’t been left with many options. Gil made his first league start of the season in the 2-0 loss against Aston Villa in our latest game.

Gil vs Palace?

The former Sevilla winger has been a refreshing addition to the team whenever he has been subbed on – which he has been six times so far this campaign. But his physicality and inexperience at the very top level in England could become a point of concern at times like this.

Conte highlighted this at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Premier League clash against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on 4 January. He admitted (h/t Football.London) that Gil has some work to do before becoming a ‘ready player’, but hinted that he could feature against the Eagles.

Emi Buendia of Aston Villa  and Bryan Gil of Tottenham Hotspur during a Premier League match.
Emi Buendia of Aston Villa and Bryan Gil of Tottenham Hotspur during a Premier League match. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

“Now [Bryan] Gil is playing. The last game, honestly he satisfied my expectation and probably he’s going to play tomorrow…”

Gil had one key pass, completed 15 out of the 21 passes he made, and lost possession 12 times in the 63 minutes he played against the Villans (h/t SofaScore). Hardly impressive numbers but even Kane and Son weren’t on song that day.

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For a player with so little experience with us – who was loaned out mid-season by Conte last year to Valencia – it feels that our squad is down to its bare bones. Liverpool signed Cody Gakpo this January after losing Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz to injuries… perhaps Spurs should do the same.

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