Matt Doherty is looking like a man possessed at Tottenham Hotspur under Antonio Conte.
On Sunday afternoon, the north London outfit moved into the Premier League’s top four with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Newcastle United and the Irishman notched his second goal and fourth assist from his last six outings.
It’s been a complete turnaround for the 30-year-old, who has seemingly been on the chopping block until now. A prolonged run in the side has catapulted his name into the Italian’s starting XI on a regular basis recently – even out of position, as with this weekend, he has delivered.
Signed in a £15m deal from Wolves by Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2020, Doherty had struggled to truly make his mark at the club. By February 2021, his future at the Lilywhites was described as ‘uncertain’ by ESPN, who claim that the Portuguese was unconvinced by his progress.
Mourinho could even be heard berating Doherty throughout one encounter against Liverpool. And then under his former Old Gold boss Nuno Santo at the start of this current campaign, he still couldn’t get into the lineup, which is rather damning.
The Athletic believed he was one player that could’ve been sold by Nuno and sporting director Fabio Paratici.
It’s a very good thing they didn’t because he’s now thriving under Conte and the weekend’s impressive win displayed his true qualities, playing in a system that suits him right to a tee.
As per WhoScored, the £10.8m-rated Doherty has now made 11 tackles, six interceptions and seven key passes across his last six outings, proving to be a major influence at either end of the pitch for Spurs.
He was one of a few players to be graded a standout 9/10 by Evening Standard reporter Dan Kilpatrick in his post-match ratings column.
‘Forced out of position to left wing-back, he finished with a goal and an assist to continue his resurgence. Has shown tremendous character to rebuild his Spurs career,’ he wrote.
Indeed, the £74k-per-week Mourinho flop is a completely different animal now.