Journalist Alasdair Gold has said he believes Antonio Conte likes to play Tottenham Hotspur star Dejan Kulusevski at right-wing-back.
Since arriving this January from Juventus, the winger has set the Premier League on fire with three goals and six assists in 11 league games.
For the most part, he has done his damage by playing further up the field as part of Conte’s attack. However, with wing-back Matt Doherty now likely to be out for the rest of the season, Gold has suggested he could be an option to play that role instead.
In a Q&A with football.london he wrote: “I think he’ll go with Emerson to start matches [at wing-back] and if it isn’t working then he shift an attacking player there as games wear on.
“I get the impression he likes Dejan Kulusevski there but whether that detracts from Tottenham’s attack with the Swede in such fine form is another thing.”
TIF thoughts on Dejan Kulusevski and Tottenham…
Since his debut, nobody in the Premier League has more assists than Kulusevski, and he’s been key in helping teammates Harry Kane and Heung-min Son shine of late (via the Evening Standard).
With that in mind, it certainly would be a big call for Conte to tinker with his formula and put him into a more defensive position. Still, if Gold is accurate in his ‘impression’ then this could well be a plan employed to help deal with Doherty’s absence.
Interestingly enough, the Italian has already spoken about the player’s versatility, telling football.london: “About Kulusevski, he’s a good player. He’s very young. I think he’s a great talent. He can play as a No.9 if you want to play two strikers, No.10 if you want to play with two players behind the striker.
Before then hinting at a deeper role for the Swede: “At the same time, he has the potential to play as a wing-back on the right. He has good quality. He likes to attack, he’s good one-v-one, he can create chances for his teammates. A good signing for us.”
Taking all that into account, perhaps now will be the moment for Conte to test the winger’s adaptability.