Jamie Redknapp makes claim about Rodrigo Bentancur after Tottenham lose to Arsenal
Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Jamie Redknapp makes claim about Rodrigo Bentancur after Tottenham lose to Arsenal

Jamie Redknapp has told Sky Sports that he thinks Tottenham Hotspur are a completely different side when Rodrigo Bentancur plays. 

Spurs fell to a hugely disappointing defeat against their bitter rivals Arsenal yesterday after yet another poor first-half showing. 

Antonio Conte’s men were completely outclassed during the opening 45 minutes and gave themselves a mountain to climb after half-time. 

Hugo Lloris set the tone with a costly error inside the first 15 minutes of the game. The Frenchman turned Bukayo Saka’s cross into his own net after attempting to parry the ball away from goal.

Tottenham’s midfield pairing of Pape Matar Sarr and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg allowed Martin Odegaard far too much time to put Arsenal two goals ahead as well. 

And Redknapp feels a big factor in Tottenham’s underwhelming derby display is down to the fact that Bentancur was unavailable due to being injured.

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

Redknapp makes claim about Bentancur impact 

Speaking on Sky Sports’ coverage of Tottenham vs Arsenal, Redknapp claims Conte’s men are a totally different side when Bentancur is in the starting line-up.

“He is that player. He is that big [of] a blow for Tottenham not to be playing at the moment,” he said. 

“He got injured during the World Cup and you can see the difference when he plays. The results since he’s been out of the team, there’s been a massive shift.”

Redknapp was then asked if Tottenham struggled to keep the ball due to the absence of the 25-year-old in the middle of the park. 

“Massively because he takes the ball in tight areas, he can drive with it. He adds a goal scoring threat as well, it’s huge not having him in the team,” the former Spurs man added. 

“You’ve got two very similar players in Sarr and Hojbjerg – you need that bit of class. That’s what they haven’t got when he doesn’t play. 

“Kulusevski’s still not quite at the level because he had an injury and they do miss Bentancur. It’s not enough of an excuse because what compounds it more than anything for Spurs is that Arsenal are playing such great football and if you’re playing the type of football Spurs are playing, you’ve got to win. 

“The fact they’re not and Arsenal are playing such good football, makes it even worse for the fans.” 

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Spurs undoubtedly missed Bentancur’s influence in midfield but Conte would have expected a lot more from his players, especially in a north London derby. 

But the Italian certainly wasn’t just let down by his players as he also made some big decisions that were ultimately wrong on the day. 

Conte will be hoping that Bentancur will be back in time for Tottenham’s trip to the Etihad on Thursday evening. 

Manchester City are also coming off the back of a derby defeat and both sides will be looking to bounce back immediately.

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