Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte heaped praise on five young Spurs players after his side’s win over Crystal Palace last night – Bryan Gil, Oliver Skipp, Pape Matar Sarr, Ryan Sessegnon and Emerson Royal.
The North Londoners suffered a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa at home on Boxing Day. They simply had to respond last night, and they did it in style thanks to a brace from Harry Kane and goals from Son Heung-min and Matt Doherty.
The young players on the pitch, however, are who impressed Conte the most.
Antonio Conte praises five Tottenham youngsters after 4-0 win over Palace
One of Conte’s biggest criticisms is the fact that he doesn’t always trust the young players.
The Italian has always been someone who prefers experience over youth, and that has served him well over the years as he has won big trophies at almost every club he has been at.
Even at Spurs, he hasn’t changed his ways, but injuries and suspension forced him to give opportunities to quite a few young players yesterday.
Speaking after the game, Conte said it makes him very happy that he can now trust five such young players at Tottenham to deliver when called upon – Skipp, Sarr, Gil, Sessegnon and Emerson.
The Spurs boss told Football London: “Today I think that I have many things to be happy about, especially also for the young players. We are facing a difficult situation without important players, especially up front. Today also Bissouma was banned for one game. Rodrigo is injured, also in midfield we were in a bit of trouble.
“Instead, good answer from Skippy and a good answer from Pape Sarr. I was happy for Gil, because Gil is going to improve game by game. We are talking about young players. Also Sessegnon, he is only 22 years old. Also Emerson is 23.
“We are talking about young players. To see that you can count on them makes me happy. Then also, it’s important because we can create competition into the team and the squad.”
It really is great news that Conte is showing faith in some of Tottenham’s youngsters – albeit because many of his more experienced players were unavailable.
The likes of Sarr and Gil are two players who were expected by many to head out on loan as soon as the winter window opened. Instead, they were given a chance and they’ve taken it brilliantly.
Skipp, who’s still only 22, is another player who has the potential to become a star for Spurs in the coming years. He was brilliant when Conte first arrived, but injuries have been really cruel to him.
However, now that he’s fit, we expect him to get plenty of opportunities, and that’s fantastic news for Spurs supporters.