‘I just didn’t feel like listening anymore’ – Bergwijn reveals Conte apologised to him

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Steven Bergwijn
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Former Tottenham forward Steven Bergwijn has admitted he had ‘no connection’ with Antonio Conte and rarely spoke to the Italian coach during his time at the club. 

Bergwijn left Spurs for Ajax earlier this summer after a difficult two-and-a-half-year stint in North London where he struggled to work his way into a regular starting role. 

He made just one start in the Premier League under Conte last season (Transfermarkt) with the bulk of his appearances coming from the bench towards the end of matches. 

However, the lack of action came after Conte insisted the 24-year-old would be an important part of his squad, following his late heroics to earn Spurs a 3-2 win at Leicester in February (Sky Sports). 

Now back in his native Netherlands, Bergwijn has since revealed he had a blunt relationship with the former Inter Milan boss, which led to a complete breakdown ahead of his eventual exit. 

Bergwijn told Algemeen Dagblad: “When he told the media during the winter break that I was going to be important and he didn’t want me to go to Ajax, I thought: ‘OK, this is not the time to argue. Let’s see if it changes’.

“You work hard and fill in well, but you always get three or four minutes of playing time. That’s not what I was waiting for. It was very frustrating. Then I wasn’t the guy everyone sees laughing all the time.”

He added: “I had no connection with Conte. I think we only had one conversation after the last practice of the season. I then went to the director and said: ‘Listen, I’m not coming back. We’re going to find a solution. I just want to leave’.

“[Conte] said: ‘I’m sorry I didn’t let you play much. We didn’t have cup matches and I really wanted to finish fourth to get to the Champions League’.

“He chose Harry Kane as the striker. I understood that, but I could also play in other positions. I just didn’t feel like listening anymore.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

Bergwijn understandably became frustrated with the lack of minutes at Spurs as he just wanted to be playing regular football at that stage of his career. 

It is difficult as Harry Kane and Heung-min Son are guaranteed starters, while Conte also seemed to prefer Lucas Moura instead. But the move to Ajax should serve as a reset for him to get himself back on track. 

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