What’s the latest?
Speaking in his pre-match press conference (via football.london), Antonio Conte revealed that both Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison remain unavailable for Spurs’ trip to the Vitality Stadium tomorrow afternoon, as the duo are yet to recover from their respective injuries.
When asked for an update on his team news ahead of Saturday’s fixture, the 53-year-old said: “No news, nothing new. Richarlison and Kulusevski are still out.”
Considering just how impressive both Kulusevski and Richarlison have been for Tottenham since their respective moves to the club, coupled with how short the absence of the duo leaves Conte of options in his three-man attack, it is clear that the fact the Italian will remain without the services of the forwards on Saturday will come as a huge blow to the 53-year-old manager.
Indeed, following Kulusevski’s January switch from Juventus, the £69m-rated winger has been in sensational form for Spurs, scoring six goals and registering 11 assists over his 29 appearances for the north London side – averaging a direct goal contribution every 114 minutes – as well as averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.06 over his 25 league outings for the club.
Meanwhile, since Richarlison’s £60m move from Everton this summer, the £60m-rated striker has also impressed, scoring two goals and providing three assists over his 13 appearances for the club – averaging a direct goal contribution every 139 minutes – in addition to averaging an eye-catching SofaScore match rating of 7.20 over his four Champions League outings for Spurs.
As such, with the continued absence of the Swede and the Brazilian leaving Conte with only the option of deploying either Lucas Moura or Bryan Gil – who have played a combined 147 minutes of first-team football this season, proving how little the Italian trusts the duo – in his three-man attack, it is evident just how much of a blow being without the stricken pair is for Tottenham.
Indeed, with Spurs currently on a run of three games without a win – over which period the Lilywhites have bagged just two goals – it is clear that Kulusevski and Richarlison’s respective returns to action can not come soon enough for Conte – who will undoubtedly be hoping his side can get back to winning ways against the Cherries tomorrow afternoon.