Matt Doherty has revealed he has no plans to leave Tottenham this summer and is keen to fight for a starting place in Antonio Conte’s side.
The 30-year-old defender is getting set to enter his third season as a Spurs player and he will be hoping to pick up where he left off from the second half of last term.
He played his way into the starting line-up but a big knee injury against Aston Villa in April ended his season with seven games of the campaign remaining.
Doherty was one of a handful of players to report for pre-season early to continue his recovery (Football.London) and he was named in the squad for the tour of South Korea.
But for Doherty and fellow right-sided defender Emerson Royal, they will both be facing competition for places next season with Spurs close to agreeing a deal for Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence.
Fabrizio Romano claims the 21-year-old Championship star has completed a medical in North London ahead of a £12.5 million move which could reach £20 million with add-ons.
While the imminent arrival of Spence will mean Spurs will have three right-sided defenders on the books, Doherty feels the competition is a good thing and will force the players to earn their place, which he intends to do.
He told Football.London: “There’s a lot of competition and that’s never a bad thing, it brings everybody’s standards up, makes everybody train properly, train hard and that’s what you want.
“You want to earn your position on merit. You don’t want it handed to you. We’re all competitors and that’z what we want. We want to fight against each other and get a place.”
Asked whether he expects to stay at the club, he added: “Of course. I haven’t been told otherwise. My plan is to stay and fight for my place. We’ve got an exciting season ahead. Why would I want to go anywhere else?”
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Conte is trying to build a squad with at least two quality players in every position and that, in turn, should create some healthy competition for starting spots.
The right wing-back spot has been an area of concern throughout the summer and with Spence set to arrive, players like Doherty will need to work to force their way in and it is good that he has recognised that.
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