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Spurs: Antonio Conte dealt Dejan Kulusevski blow

Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a huge injury setback concerning Dejan Kulusevski.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by the Daily Mail, who claim that, after missing Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal due to a hamstring injury the winger picked up on international duty with Sweden, the 22-year-old will now be unavailable for selection for the next two weeks.

Should this be the case, it would mean that the forward would miss Spurs’ crucial Champions League double-header against Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as Premier League fixtures against Brighton & Hove Albion and potentially the visit of Everton on October 15.

Gutting news for Conte

Considering just how impressive Kulusevski has been for Tottenham ever since his January arrival in north London, should the Swede indeed be ruled out for a fortnight, it would undoubtedly be gutting news for Conte and his side.

Indeed, the £70m-rated talent has been in astonishing form over his 25 Premier League appearances for Spurs, having already scored six goals and registered 11 assists – averaging a direct goal involvement every 104 minutes of league football played.

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Furthermore, according to FBref, the £110k-per-week forward also ranks in the top 2% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s big five leagues and European competitions for assists per 90, as well as the top 8% for passes completed, the top 18% for touches in the opposition penalty area, the top 7% for pressures and the top 4% for interceptions over the past 12 months.

From these metrics, it is clear to see that Kulusevski is not only effective for Tottenham in the final third, but the attacker also contributes massively in a defensive capacity – something that is crucial within Conte’s particular brand of football.

Further still, with Richarlison having not exactly been in incredibly deadly form so far this season – scoring two goals over nine appearances – and Heung-min Son still struggling to replicate his Golden Boot-winning form of last season – scoring three goals over ten fixtures – the loss of such a reliable attacking outlet in Kulusevski is clearly a huge blow for Spurs.

Indeed, with Tottenham requiring six points against Eintracht if they wish to give themselves the best possible chance of qualifying from Group D in the Champions League, as well as the Lilywhites looking to get back on track domestically after a disappointing north London derby defeat at the weekend, Kulusevski’s two-week absence will certainly be a major worry for Conte.