Antonio Conte suggests Dejan Kulusevski could play at wing-back for Tottenham
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Antonio Conte suggests Dejan Kulusevski could play at wing-back for Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur face one of their toughest challenges yet, as they travel to Manchester City this evening.

A win would put improve their top four chances, but City are also reeling from losing their own derby.

Antonio Conte has spoken to the press, via Football London, ahead of their trip to the Eithad.

Conte has to figure out quickly why his Spurs side continue to start matches so slowly.

Against Arsenal, they were simply overrun in the first-half, and went into the break two goals down.

As it normally does, their performance improved in the second-half, but they couldn’t find a way past Aaron Ramsdale.

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There are question marks over several players in the team, notably at wing-back.

Tottenham are keen to sign Pedro Porro, as Spurs look to bring in a new defender on the right.

Ryan Sessegnon struggled against Bukayo Saka, but was given the nod over Ivan Perisic.

Tottenham boss Conte has now suggested that he could try Dejan Kulusevski at wing-back.

The winger wouldn’t be the first player Conte has converted into a different position.

However, the £25m forward may not have all the attributes to thrive in that position.

Conte could play Kulusevski at wing-back for Tottenham

The Italian was asked about how he plans to get the best out of his squad, and include all his attacking players in the starting line-up.

“Also, I think the most important area for us are the strikers. In this squad, I have to create a situation to support Sonny, Kane and Kulusevski or Richarlison,” Conte said.

“In some games, you can try to put Kulusevski as wing-back and the other wing-back is Perisic, who is a winger.

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“I think that no other team plays with three strikers and one winger – and sometimes two wingers in Kulusevski and Perisic, as well only three defenders and two midfielders.

“Maybe we’ll try to find a solution to put the best players on the pitch but when you put all the best players on the pitch, you don’t have possibilities to change the game on the bench.

“In my career, I’ve played with a [back] four and won two championships with 4-2-4 at Juventus.”

TBR View: Kulusevski could be a short-term fix, but isn’t the long-term answer

Kulusevski has struggled with injuries this season, and when he’s been missing, Tottenham have looked significantly worse under Conte.

His importance is so much so, that Tottenham are actively looking for a quality back-up to the Swede.

Kulusevski is a right-sided winger, and so could drop into a deeper role to fill a problem position for Tottenham.

Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty have failed to impress this season, and Djed Spence has barely had a look in.

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

The question would be just how much of Kulusevski’s attacking output would be lost if he dropped deeper.

He’s arguably Tottenham’s most creative player, outside of Kane, and that might be limited if he also had to concentrate on defending.

It may be a short-term fix, but testing it against Manchester City tonight would be a very bold call.

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