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Kulusevski is already in danger if Tottenham sign an “extraordinary” £30m star

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Tottenham Hotspur’s team has almost picked itself for far too long.

Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son in attack, supported by Lucas Moura. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in midfield, Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris in the back. Six players who, whatever their form, appeared to have been written in indelible ink on the Tottenham squad sheet.

However, the problem this causes is not simply a matter of depth. We’re sure you remember Harry Winks’ scathing comments about Nuno Espirito Santo’s ‘two-tier squad’. The Premier League poster boys and then the Conference League idiots crowded into the corner. Out of sight, out of mind and out of the team.

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Another problem that arises when so many of your players are almost guaranteed to start week in and week out is that things tend to get old faster than all that banana bread you’ve had your fill of two weeks into lockdown.

Competition behind the scenes keeps things fresh. It forces the owners of a launch site to protect it with their lives. That’s what makes Manchester City and Liverpool such an irrepressible football force. Mo Salah, Kevin de Bruyne, Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez know that Luis Diaz, Ilkay Gundogan, Diogo Jota and Jack Grealish will be ready to pounce if they slack off just a little bit.

Conte needs competition

Thanks to the good work of Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici, Tottenham are much better placed competitively than they were 12 months ago. Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur were inspired signings, as was Cristian Romero. Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Davinson Sanchez – four players who have hardly missed a game in the final months of Jose Mourinho’s tenure – have been relegated from first-team regulars to substitutes on the bench.

Sergio Reguilon’s difficult second season in English football is also undercut by the emergence of Ryan Sessegnon and Matt Doherty. Conte, meanwhile, has made no secret of his desire to sign a top-flight centre-forward who could make even a player as influential as Kane look nervously over his shoulder.

Links to Marco Asensio, meanwhile, prove that not even Kulusevski – “sensational” since moving from Juventus in January with three goals and six assists in the league – cannot afford to neglect his standards.

Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Asensio, a two-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid, is being offered to Spurs for a bargain £30m (Mirror). The silky Spain international – dubbed an ‘extraordinary’ talent by Carlo Ancelotti – will hire Jorge Mendes as his new agent, a man with an excellent relationship with the Spurs hierarchy.

The Portuguese super agent is responsible for bringing Doherty, Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo to Spurs. Though few will thank him for the last.

Kulusevski out, Asensio in?

Corresponding CalciomercatoMendes is already planning to bring Asensio to North London.

Asensio, scorer of 11 goals this season, is arguably most effective when cutting in from the right. Just like Kulusevski. Zinedine Zidane even claimed that he hasn’t seen a left foot as devastating as Asensio’s since Lionel Messi appeared on the scene.

That’s not to say that Kulusevski should fret about his place at Tottenham. But if Asensio arrives, the Swede will find himself in a similar position to Lucas, Hojbjerg and Dier. And that’s not a bad thing.

The competition for places hasn’t hurt Liverpool or Man City much after all.

Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

In other news, ‘It could be Tottenham’: Ian Wright warns Liverpool for Premier League title

https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/04/22/kulusevski-is-in-danger-already-if-tottenham-sign-extraordinary-30m-star/ Kulusevski is already in danger if Tottenham sign an “extraordinary” £30m star

Zack Zwiezen

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