Gold says Conte may start Ryan Sessegnon over Ivan Perisic in Tottenham's first game of the season
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Gold says Conte may start Ryan Sessegnon over Ivan Perisic in Tottenham's first game of the season

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Alasdair Gold claims that Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte could pick Ryan Sessegnon at left wing-back over Ivan Perisic against Southampton on the opening day of the new season.

Spurs decided very early that they wanted to get rid of Sergio Reguilon. Conte just doesn’t want the Spaniard at the club anymore, which is why he even left him out of their pre-season tour to South Korea.

Tottenham signed Ivan Perisic before the transfer window even opened. The Croatian, who Conte knows very well thanks to their time together at Inter Milan, will surely be the first choice on that left flank, but he may not be ready to start against Southampton.

That’s why Gold believes it may be Sessegnon who gets the nod from the start in Spurs’ first game of the upcoming season.

Ryan Sessegnon may start ahead of Ivan Perisic in Tottenham vs Southampton

In a Q&A session on Football London, Gold said about Perisic: “Much depends on his fitness. He’s been out since suffering his calf injury on the last day of the Serie A season.

“He looked sharp in his half hour at the weekend in Glasgow and now the next two weeks are about upping his fitness.

“Perisic and Sessegnon are going to be used in tandem this season with all the competitions ahead. If Perisic can get to the required levels then he stands a chance of starting against Southampton because he’s a real Conte favourite.

“But, I just wonder whether Sessegnon will get the nod for that game as the Croatian is given a little more time to hit the peak fitness for one of the most demanding roles in the team.”

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If both Perisic and Sessegnon are at their peak fitness, we expect Conte to pick the Croatian more often than not.

However, the Spurs new boy is 33 now, and even though age has had nothing to do with his performances over the last few years, the intensity of the Premier League could cause him a few problems.

The wisest thing would be to ease Perisic into the English game. The five-substitutes rule, which will kick in at the start of the new season, will allow Conte to use him smartly, and it’s good for Sessegnon as well.

The 22-year-old Englishman was mostly excellent in the second half of last season. He has worked really hard in pre-season to bulk up, and he could get plenty of opportunities in the upcoming campaign.

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