Antonio Conte will still be without Steven Bergwijn when his Tottenham Hotspur side face Chelsea in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final clash this evening…
The Italian head coach delivered a worrying update on the Dutch winger during his pre-game press conference. He told reporters (via the club’s official website):
“For Steve, we have to pay more attention, because his problem was in the calf, and with a calf, you have to pay more attention and wait a bit to have him available.”
Bergwijn has suffered from persistent injuries since his £25m move from PSV Eindhoven in January 2020, his latest of which coming as a substitute in a 26-minute cameo during the Boxing Day win over Crystal Palace.
This will leave Conte fuming as Begwijn may have started to convince his manager of more game time following a goal and assist against West Ham United in the last round of this competition.
After the quarter-final victory, the Italian said:
“He played a good game. I think he can do much better because he has good qualities, one against one, he’s very fast, but he has to give continuity and also to give me the possibility to be sure, to count on him.
“Tonight, he deserved this chance to play, he played a good game, scored and made an assist, he was good but I think he has the potential to improve and to be better.”
Given that display and the bulk of his game time coming outside of the Premier League, the Dutchman would’ve been a shoo-in to start at Stamford Bridge this evening, so this latest update surely serves as a devastating setback to not just the player but the head coach, too.
It means he may not be able to rotate his squad much and with a north London derby on the horizon, that’s surely a big cause for concern.
On top of that, it’s yet another frustrating injury setback for a player that has struggled to cement his place in the team in nearly two years.