£13m Tottenham player has reason to be worried after what Antonio Conte's just done - opinion
And this could be bad news for Doherty after the Evening Standard reported only last week that he or Emerson Royal could leave the club.
Doherty joined Spurs from Wolves back in the summer of 2020 for a fee of £13.4 million (Football.London) and has had a mixed career so far in North London.
The Irishman struggled to break into Conte’s side last season but then enjoyed a brilliant spell at the end of February and beginning of March.
But he then picked up a knee injury which ruled him out for the final six games of the season and Royal stepped up well to the role.
Doherty was an unused substitute against Rangers
The fact that Doherty was the only player not to be used by Conte against Rangers on Saturday could be bad news for the 30-year-old.
Spurs signed Djed Spence from Middlesbrough last week and the 21-year-old was even brought on as a substitute towards the end of the game.
Royal started the game at right wing-back and despite leaving much to be desired, he still featured in Conte’s plans for the game.
Lucas Moura was even deployed in Doherty’s position for part of the second half as he replaced his compatriot and Conte sees him as a ‘good option’ for the wing-back spot.
Conte could move Doherty on this summer
As the Tottenham team now boasts three natural right wing-backs, as well as Moura as an additional option, you’d think that the club may now look to move one of them on.
With Conte seemingly choosing his other options over Doherty at the weekend, then it could mean that the Irishman is the one that will head out of the door.
There is the alternative view that by playing Royal, the club were putting the Brazilian in the shop window. But Conte doesn’t seem like the type of manager to let the transfer market hinder his pre-season preparations.
Doherty was used as a left wing-back during the friendlies against Team K-League and Sevilla, but that was mainly down to the absence of new signing Ivan Perisic.
It will be intriguing to see who Spurs offload on the position over the coming weeks and if Conte’s most recent team selection is anything to go by, Matt Doherty could be the man who is sacrificed.
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