London (AFP) – Tottenham manager Antonio Conte said he is glad to finally have Dejan Kulusevski in his squad after the Sweden international maintained his fine start to life in the Premier League.
The 21-year-old, a January deadline day signing from Juventus, contributed his fifth assist for Spurs in Sunday’s 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle.
He has also scored two goals in that time and linked up well with the established strike partnership of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Conte, who tried to sign the winger when he was in charge of Inter Milan, has long been an admirer of Kulusevski.
“We are talking about a player that I know very well, because he played in Italy,” he said.
“He started to play with Atalanta, then Atalanta brought (sent) him on loan to Parma, and he played in Serie A. And he played in a fantastic way.”
Kulusevski struggled for game time earlier this season at Juventus, but has already started nine times for Tottenham.
“We are talking about a player who is only 21 years old,” added Conte.
“And he has to continue to play this way. Because he’s strong physically, big engine, he’s good technically.
“I think for Tottenham, this is a great signing for the present and for the future. We are talking about really, really strong.”
Kulusevski joined on the same day as midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur, who also signed from Juventus, and the duo have helped Tottenham climb into the top four.
“I said that with these two players, despite that we lost four players in January, with these two new signings we made this squad more complete, with more balance,” Conte said.
“I think that it’s very important in football to have a clear idea, and to have a good vision. Because in this way, the situation is more simple.”
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