Rodrigo Bentancur has admitted that he is thoroughly enjoying working with a coach like Antonio Conte, who is always intense and expects the same of the players.
Bentancur’s arrival was certainly not one of the high-profile moves of the January transfer window but the Uruguayan has made an instant impact since arriving in North London.
He has formed a formidable partnership with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the middle of the park and has made Spurs more composed in possession.
The midfielder has now admitted that he prepared with his personal fitness coach to cope with the demands of Premier League football.
Bentancur told The Evening Standard: “No sooner had I arrived I just thought that I need to make an impact. I enlisted the help of Daniel, my fitness coach, who I managed to bring over here as well.
“I knew I would have to be prepared as the English game is so intense and so quick, so end-to-end. I needed to prepare on a number of levels, with my lungs and fitness for the speed of the game.”
“Professional footballers have a lot of spare time, so that’s where ‘my uncle’ Daniel comes in. By spending your spare time doing extra work and fitness work, it’s a positive.
Bentancur also spoke about his admiration of Conte, admitting that the Italian expects nothing less than 100 per cent of his players in every session.
He said: “Ever since I have arrived I have seen that mentality that Antonio has. That’s something that I really appreciate and I really like as well.
“He is the sort of coach who is very intense with everything and he wants his players to always give the maximum with everything, 100 per cent all the time.”
Betancur also praised Dejan Kulusevski for the impact he has made since arriving at Spurs, admitting that having the Swede come along with him from Juventus has made it easier for him to settle into the new surroundings.
When asked about Kulusevski, the 24-year-old responded: “It does help coming with a team-mate. I knew that he was a great player, but I think he is displaying even more qualities and abilities since he arrived at Tottenham.
“He’s playing even better than at Juve. Our front three are fantastic players. So our job is really just to get the ball back and give it to them, because it is a 99 per cent chance they are going to score a goal!”
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One can see why Conte wanted Bentancur, given the Uruguayan’s mentality to keep improving. The midfielder is only going to better with more game time as he gets used to the demands of the Premier League and to Conte’s system.
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