Tottenham Hotspur completed their final mid-season friendly against Nice this evening in North London, drawing 1-1 as they look ahead to Brentford on Boxing Day.
Let’s take a look at the five things we learned:
World Cup returnees may not be ready – You get the feeling that not all of Tottenham’s World Cup returnees are going to be fit enough to start against Brentford. Hojbjerg only played 45 minutes this evening, Dier and Davies came on in the second half, Sonny got a short run-out, and the likes of Kane, Lloris, Perisic, and Romero are yet to feature. Therefore, there could be chances for people like Bryan Gil to make an impression.
Matt Doherty, goal machine – Four goals in three friendlies. What are they putting in Matt Doherty’s coffee? He is surely a guaranteed starter against Brentford now, either on the right or left side of defence. Not only did he score today, but he was arguably Tottenham’s best all-round player.
Fraser Forster returns – Antonio Conte has at least avoided a goalkeeper headache for Boxing Day. Forster returned from his knock to fill in while Hugo Lloris is away. It remains to be seen whether the Frenchman will walk straight back into the starting XI after his World Cup heartbreak, but Spurs will at least have one senior keeper to use.
Pape Matar Star of the show – One player who really impressed off the bench was young Pape Matar Sarr. The way he won the ball back time and time again, carried it confidently, and passed it around between the lines. He looks the real deal. I would hate to see him wasted on the bench for the rest of the year, so hopefully Spurs get him a loan move to progress his game.
Kulusevski is key – With Harry Kane and Heung-min Son coming back from the World Cup, for the first time ever I think Dejan Kulusevski could be the key man against Brentford. He has been training for over a month for this specific moment and I have a feeling he might run the show. I got the impression he was playing within himself a little at times this evening, yet still looks like he could make something happen at the flick of a switch. Top class player.