Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action later this evening as they welcome Southampton to north London, just a few days after their success in the FA Cup fourth found.
Antonio Conte’s side defeated top-flight rivals Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday evening to set up a fifth-round tie away to Championship outfit Middlesbrough.
Spurs were in solid form as they beat the Seagulls 3-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and that’s exactly where they return tonight.
The Italian head coach has plenty to ponder in terms of team selection, especially as he named his strongest possible starting XI at the weekend but omitted from that were his two January signings, midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur and attacker Dejan Kulusevski.
It’s the latter who could be in line for his first start since arriving from Juventus on deadline day.
Lucas Moura was particularly underwhelming in the attack as he failed to have much of an impact on the game but the Swede looked promising and much more encouraging in his substitute cameo role, as explained here by Football FanCast.
As one of Spurs’ lowest-rated players on the night, the Brazil winger failed to record a single successful dribble, made only 70% of his passes and won only 33% of his nine duels, via SofaScore.
Instead, Kulusevski could offer some fresh impetus in the final third with his versatile and dynamic attributes.
The 21-year-old gem, who is valued at £27m by Transfermarkt, has joined on an initial 18-month loan from the Serie A giants and will provide Conte with valuable depth upfront. He is capable of playing on both flanks and through the middle, which makes him an intriguing option indeed.
During his maiden campaign at Juve, Kulusevski delivered 14 direct goal contributions whilst playing seven different roles.
Meanwhile, former Sweden and Aston Villa ace Marcus Allback once dubbed him an “explosive” player who is very “direct” and he has since been tipped to become an “absolute monster” under the stewardship of Conte.
It would be good to see what he can offer the side from the very start of the match, rather than from the bench, so the Italian must unleash him over Moura this evening.
The young dynamo could have the skillset to hurt and terrify Southampton.