The Italian head coach has been without several stars since the Premier League returned to action following the World Cup break, with some key names amongst them, including Richarlison and Rodrigo Bentancur.
Whilst the pair of them were involved for their countries in Qatar, one player who wasn’t was Dejan Kulusevski, whose last appearance came on Boxing Day before he picked up another problem.
After missing the defeat to Aston Villa earlier this month, The Athletic described the issue as a ‘small muscle injury’ but he has not been seen since – until now, in what is a major boost to Conte and the side.
The Swedish winger has been spotted in training, alongside Yves Bissouma, as preparations get underway for Sunday afternoon’s game.
✅ Dejan Kulusevski
❌ Rodrigo Bentancur
✅ Yves Bissouma
Tottenham train ahead of the north London derby on Sunday. 💪 pic.twitter.com/dJ0i9gTvna
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 10, 2023
Just as the Sky Sports reporter in the training clip suggests, Kulusevski is “massive” and “so influential” for Spurs as he brings creativity and threat in the final third.
Indeed, since his arrival from Juventus nearly a year ago, the 22-year-old dynamo has provided six goals and 13 assists across 33 appearances, whilst this campaign alone, no player has laid on more assists or created more key passes per game, as per WhoScored.
In fact, he is only one of four players to create more than one key chance each outing in the Premier League this term, only emphasising his importance, to not just the attack but the squad too.
He could well be Conte’s trump card as the Italian looks to continue on from their 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace with a shock result against the league leaders.
It’ll be a tougher test than last season, where the Gunners rolled over in a 3-0 defeat to Spurs as they sit five points clear of defending champions Manchester City at the top.
They also have the second-best defensive record in the league behind Newcastle United, so Conte will certainly need his best attacking talent fit and firing if he’s to stand a chance of gaining a result at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend.
Kulusevski – once described as a “non-stop machine” who doesn’t stop running and “an absolute monster” by journalist Nima Tavallaey Roodsari – could prove to be the difference in any successful result, so having him back in training will surely have Conte and the Lilywhites faithful absolutely delighted.