Alasdair Gold has said that Matt Doherty might still have not reached the level of sharpness that Antonio Conte expects of him.
Doherty was in scintillating form after breaking into Tottenham’s starting eleven in the second half of last season but the Republic of Ireland international missed the last seven games of the campaign after injuring his knee in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa in April following a rash challenge from Matty Cash (Transfermarkt).
When Spurs signed Djed Spence in the summer, it was expected that the 21-year-old would compete with Doherty with a place in the starting lineup this season, with Emerson Royal being linked with a move away from the club (Sky Sports).
However, it is Emerson who has started Tottenham’s first three Premier League games of the season, with Doherty being on the bench for all three matches.
Gold believes that the former Wolves man would have been Conte’s first-choice at right wing-back had he recovered fully from his knee injury.
The journalist said on his YouTube channel: “Conte likes his defensive solidity. I don’t think he thinks Doherty is as sharp as he wants him. The way he was talking about him in pre-season suggests he would’ve been the first choice if he was sharp. Still feeling knee injury in pre-season.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It would be a bit of a worry if Doherty is still not 100 per cent despite having the entire summer to recover and going through a full pre-season. Conte might just be persisting with Emerson because he feels the Brazilian has done well in the three matches and does not warrant being dropped.
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