Woodgate claims he has been a fan of Spurs star since he was just 19 – ‘Proper plater’

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Jonathan Woodgate has lavished praise on Rodrigo Bentancur, admitting that he has been a fan of the midfielder since his time at Boca Juniors, which ended in 2017.

Bentancur has made a fine start since joining from Juventus in January and has quickly put to rest questions over whether he was good enough to improve the Lilywhites’ starting eleven.

The midfielder came off with an ankle injury in Tottenham’s 1-0 loss at Turf Moor last week and it was initially reported that he could be sidelined for three weeks (Evening Standard).

However, Antonio Conte revealed to Spurs TV that the midfielder is recovering well and is expected to join training over the coming days.

Woodgate raved about the Urugwayan’s all-round abilities, describing the 24-year-old as a ‘proper player’.

The former Spurs centre-back told the club’s official website: “You’ve just signed a good player in Rodrigo Bentancur as well. I watched him at Boca Juniors, and he was class then.

“He’s got 47 caps for Uruguay! He’s a proper player. He can pass it, break play up, hit long passes, short passes. He’s more of a ‘6’ than an ‘8’, a really good, young player.”

Woodgate also admitted that he is a big admirer of Antonio Conte, insisting that the Italian is the kind of personality that fans will take to straight away.

He said on the Spurs boss: “I’m a huge fan of Antonio Conte, a huge fan. What he did at Juventus, the three Serie A titles, two Supercoppas, then the Premier League title and FA Cup at Chelsea, the Serie A title again at Inter, he’s also been national manager of Italy.

“He’s a top manager, knows what he wants, and he walks through the door and connects with the fans straight away. They love his passion. He wants to bring success.”

Spurs Web Opinion

While it is still early days for Bentancur, I have been pleasantly surprised by his performances so far. Just as Woodgate points out, the 24-year-old does not seem to have any particular weakness. One can also see why Conte was keen on snapping him up, given the Uruguayan’s work ethic and tactical discipline.

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