24-year-old Tottenham player Conte’s never picked could now be in line to start on Boxing Day – opinion
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

24-year-old Tottenham player Conte’s never picked could now be in line to start on Boxing Day – opinion

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has seen a good number of his first-choice players go deep into the World Cup.

Six players featured for sides who reached the quarter-finals, while three players are still in Qatar.

A report from Football London has relayed which Spurs players have been featuring back in north London.

They’ve recorded two victories in behind-closed-doors matches so far, against Motherwell and Peterborough United’s under-21s.

The likes of Matt Doherty, Bryan Gil and Djed Spence have all impressed, and given Conte something to think about when the season restarts.

Spurs kick off the Premier League restart with a trip to Brentford on Boxing Day which will be a tough task.

He’s also set to be without Richarlison who returned from the World Cup with a hamstring injury.

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Captain Hugo Lloris and centre-back Cristian Romero will fight it out on Sunday to see who returns to Hotspur Way with a World Cup winner’s medal.

The season restarts just eight days after the final in Qatar, which could pose Conte with a selection dilemma.

Football London report that Fraser Forster has missed both mid-season friendlies so far, and hasn’t been spotted in training.

It means Conte could start reserve goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman for Tottenham when the Premier League returns.

It would be a big call, considering the 24-year-old has just one competitive appearance for Spurs, and has barely trained under Conte.

Whiteman could start for Tottenham in PL opener

The former-England under-19 international has spent the first-half of this season on loan at Swedish side Degerfors.

He kept two clean sheets in 21 league appearances, and lost his place in the side at the end of his spell.

Whiteman has come off the bench in both friendlies so far, replacing Brandon Austin.

Although Austin has been around the squad for longer, he’s not played competitive football since July 2021.

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Whiteman could start for Tottenham if Conte decides to give Lloris the same break the rest of his teammates have received after leaving the World Cup.

With no update on Forster’s fitness yet, it can’t be assumed that he’ll be fit to deputise for the Frenchman.

It would be a big call to give the 24-year-old his first ever league start on Boxing Day.

However, it may also be a massive ask for Lloris to refocus on club football so quickly after one of the biggest games of his life.

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