Tottenham Hotspur signed Matt Doherty from Wolves for around £15m last summer under Jose Mourinho but it was a season to forget for the Irish full-back.
Doherty struggled to adapt to a flat back four having played prominently as an attacking right-wing-back at Wolves and, therefore, found himself on the fringes of Jose Mourinho’s starting XI.
The defender still featured 29 times across the season and recorded four assists but he didn’t bring the same goalscoring form he previously had at Wolves and had to make do with just 1200 Premier League minutes (TransferMarkt).
During his final season with Wolves, Doherty managed an impressive 50 games in all competitions, scoring seven and assisting five (TransferMarkt).
Of course, those numbers were achieved under Tottenham’s new manager, Nuno Espirito Santo, and Doherty has been speaking about linking back up with the Portuguese coach, while also hinting at what Spurs can expect from him this season.
“We had quite a good relationship and a successful time at Wolves, getting into Europe and finishing high and getting promoted.
“I know the way he works, he knows the way I work and he’s a very good on-field coach.
“As I’ve said over the years I’ve got nothing but praise for him. He’s a world-class coach and his backroom staff are world-class and I maintain that.
“That doesn’t change and I think we’ve very fortunate to have him here.
“He had an immediate impact [at Wolves]. Obviously winning the league by nine points I think it was in the very first season and then going up and getting back-to-back seventh-place finishes and getting into Europe.
“So he’s had nothing but success so far in England and with the set-up and facilities and quality of players we’ve got here I’m sure it will be successful for him.”
On what his teammates can expect from Nuno, he added: “They can expect good training sessions. We’re going to have to work hard.
“I think they’ll see he’s quite hands-on the training pitch. He’s going around, giving little bits of advice to players, what he likes to see, what he wants to see from them.
“It’ll be a tough pre-season but it won’t be unbearable. His backroom staff, they know exactly what they’re doing so they’ll push us to the limit and just when we feel like we’re about to fall down they’ll give us our rest day or our afternoon off and we’ll able to recharge our batteries.
“We’ve got a long pre-season ahead of us but he’ll have us in shape by the first game of the season.”
Spurs Web Opinion:
I think that we will see a different Doherty this season if Tottenham move to a back five and play him at right-wing-back. He seems to be more of a system player and struggled to adapt to a flat-four right-back role. Hopefully, Nuno can bring out the best in him.
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