Tottenham legend Clive Allen has suggested Antonio Conte’s praise of Eric Dier was ‘clever’ but claims the Italian may have a slight concern over the contract situation of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Conte has been in the process of turning the North London club’s fortunes around, with the side’s last game yielding a 2-1 win over West Ham in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.
The aforementioned Dier and Lloris were both involved in their own respective ways in Wednesday night’s win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Dier, who Conte claimed could become one of the best centre-backs in the world, conceded possession in his own half with Spurs only just having taken the lead, before being spun by Jarrod Bowen for West Ham’s equaliser.
However, former Spurs striker Allen believes Conte was smart by praising Dier before the match with Cristian Romero still absent due to injury.
He told talkSPORT: “Conte’s played that really well, because he’s lost Romero. Romero looked, to me, the part.
“It looked like Spurs would be building a back-three with Romero at the heart of that defence.
“Dier has had to take on that mantle. Maybe he feels now like he’s got two good centre-halves that he can add to.
“That has been clever in the way he’s praised Dier in the absence of Romero.”
Meanwhile, club captain Lloris put in a man of the match display against the Hammers and produced a series of reflex saves to keep Spurs in the game.
The 34-year-old has now entered the final year of his contract and talks of fresh terms are still up in the air, despite some reporting he will sign an extension.
Allen feels it might be time for Lloris to seek a new path in his career and Spurs may need to look towards finding a suitable replacement in goal.
He added: “Whether [Pierluigi] Gollini will be the long-term replacement for him, I’m not so sure.
“Conte will know of his ability, coming in to possibly replace Lloris, or whether there will be the addition of another goalkeeper.
“You don’t know Hugo’s position. He might feel like now is the time for him to move on.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The Dier error against West Ham was a small blip in what has been a good number of displays under Conte. With Lloris, he was his usual excellent self in goal and the performance will have surely put pressure on the club’s chiefs to look towards an extension at least.
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