Antonio Conte could make a shock decision for the game against West Ham United, with Dejan Kulusevski set to benched in favour of Brazilian striker Richarlison.
Tottenham fans were left disappointed after their Champions League Round of 16 first-leg defeat to AC Milan on Tuesday. Despite taking the lead through a Harry Kane goal, the Italian giants came back to win 2-1, leaving Spurs with a difficult task in the second leg.
Now, Tottenham turn their attention to the Premier League, where they face a crucial game against West Ham on Sunday. The Hammers have struggled this season after a couple of good seasons and find themselves in a relegation scrap. Spurs meanwhile need to keep pushing for a top four spot.
As such, Antonio Conte has some big decisions to make ahead of the game. One of the most surprising could be the potential dropping of Dejan Kulusevski. The Swedish international has been a key player for Tottenham since coming here. He has provided pace and creativity in attack and has become a fan favourite in North London.
However, Kulusevski’s recent performances have been below par. He struggled to make an impact against Milan on Tuesday and has been criticized for his lack of consistency in recent weeks. As such, it is understandable that Conte may be considering a change.
Richarlison would be a good replacement for the Swedish winger. The Tottenham striker is yet to net in the league since his move from Everton in the summer. He would offer a different threat to Kulusevski, with his physicality and directness causing problems for defenders.
Of course, dropping a player who has been such an important part of the team is always a risk. However, if Kulusevski is not performing at his best, then it is the manager’s job to make tough decisions for the benefit of the team.
Tottenham cannot afford to drop points in such a crucial game, and if Richarlison can offer a fresh impetus in attack, then it may well be worth the risk. Ultimately, the decision of who to play will be up to Conte. The Italian has shown himself to be a shrewd tactician since taking over at Tottenham, and his decisions have often paid off.
Despite not being in North London at the moment, Conte is the one who makes decisions regarding the line-up and more. The Italian tactician is recovering from a surgery in Italy. He will have a plan in mind for how to beat West Ham, and if dropping Kulusevski is part of that plan, then fans should trust in his judgement.
In any case, Sunday’s game promises to be a thrilling encounter. Tottenham will need to be at their best to secure the three points, but with the likes of Richarlison potentially coming into the team, they will have plenty of attacking options at their disposal.