Bryan Gil’s dilemma for Tottenham after Antonio Conte made clear his feelings for the young winger

Tottenham have to make a big decision about Bryan Gil’s future this summer, less than a year after the Spaniard walked through the doors at Hotspur Way.

Spurs had been following the 21-year-old winger for some time as he built a reputation as one of Spain’s most promising young players. His loan move from Sevilla to Eibar drew the attention of many watching scouts. Gil was a shining light for the Spanish fighters with his ability to dribble the ball and create chances and he became just the second player born this century to score twice in the same La Liga game when he was against Granada scored a brace.

Barcelona scout German Vaya Ballabriga said of Gil last season: “Right now he is Spain’s best footballer and I compare him to Neymar. He can do certain things and has great versatility as he can play at full-back, in the middle or further the left wing. It’s impressive. I spoke to him [Barcelona’s sporting director] Raman Planes on him and he has Bryan Gil in mind.”

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Instead, it was Tottenham who captured the Spain Under-21 international for £22million while Erik Lamela went the opposite direction. Gil signed a long-term deal with the north London club until 2026 before heading to the Olympics where he helped Spain to a silver medal. He made his debut for Spain’s senior squad shortly after, with national team manager Luis Enrique admitting to being a fan.

But the Premier League was a new challenge for the lithe winger and neither Nuno Espirito Santo, who asked him to gain weight, nor Antonio Conte gave him a single Premier League start. Gil has only nine appearances in the competition, totaling less than 90 minutes of playing time.

He made eleven more appearances in the cup competitions and showed what he could do, but Conte wasn’t convinced the youngster was ready for the Premier League. His fate was sealed in January when Tottenham signed Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski, just a year older than Gil and himself on loan with the prospect of a permanent contract, and the Swede quickly adapted to the new league and lifestyle.

Gil was loaned out to Valencia until the end of the season, albeit with no option to sign him permanently. However, that move would have been something of a relegation for football’s chief executive Fabio Paratici, who brought the young Spaniard to his first batch of signings this summer.

Conte then reinforced this awkwardness by suggesting they do so after Gil returned to Spain that due diligence had not been carried out to know if the player was suitable for the Premier League.

“You know I like to tell the truth and we are certainly talking about Gil as a really good player because he has good quality and understands football quickly,” he said. “At this moment, this league is certainly very tough. This league is different. If you compare this league to other leagues, you play a different sport here. Because of this, when signing a new player you have to take many things into account, not just one aspect , whether he shoots well or makes an assist, you have to take into account many situations because this league is very difficult.

“You can be good with quality. You can be a creative player but at the same time you have to be physically strong. You have to run a lot to be resilient. The impact of this league isn’t easy. It’s not easy for that reason, the Market, before signing a player, consider many aspects and don’t go over emotional things.

“It’s very important and I hope I’ve transferred my thoughts to my club because, I repeat, I have my vision. I’m here to try and help my club improve. In my past I’ve built a good structure, good teams that endure over time, even without me, even without me.

“That means maybe when I tell something and have a vision, I see the situation. We have to build here, we have to build a good structure and create a good foundation. It will be very important not to make mistakes in the future.” because at this moment many teams are higher than us and for this reason to catch them we have to reduce the mistakes. We have to reduce them, have a vision and follow that line.”

For his part, Gil admitted the training sessions and football at Tottenham had been difficult for him to adjust to and although he had gained weight it wasn’t enough.

“In the Premier League the training sessions are very physical, very tough and it has helped me not to feel tired now,” he said. “It’s really very noticeable. It’s a bit higher intensity. I noticed it physically. It was difficult for me to adapt. It’s very physical football, back and forth. It was good for me to be there. I’m it.” more mature.

“I changed habits like eating, I had a chef at home and I gained two kilos. However, I realized that it wasn’t good enough for the physical level that exists in the Premier League.”

Gil’s loan to Valencia has had its ups and downs. On his return to Spain, he impressed from the start and was a key figure in helping the team reach the Copa del Rey final. At one point, fans chanted his name and urged him to stay.

That final brought Gil heartbreak on penalties against Real Betis and then a hip problem saw his minutes dwindle in the final weeks of the season. In all, he made 17 appearances for Valencia, three fewer than for Spurs, but 12 of those were starts.

What next for the talented young winger? On the eve of the Copa del Rey final a month ago, he told Spanish publication Marca that he thinks he can adapt to English football when he talks about Spurs.

“It’s hard because it’s your first time living in another country with a different language,” he said, “the pace in England is a bit faster, it takes a bit more physicality and it’s tough, but I think i’ll get used to it.

“It’s a very broad squad [at Spurs], with very good players, they show it with a very good winning streak that has put them fourth in the Premier League and they have very good players. You can afford to give [Conte] Confidence to let players like Lo Celso, Ndombele or me play on loan and still keep winning. So far that has shown Tottenham that they are a very competitive team and that they are at an incredible level.”

On his future, he added: “No one knows what can happen tomorrow and it will be decided in the summer, that’s the only thing I can say.”

Unless Gil spends the next month transforming into his compatriot Adama Traore, Conte’s opinion of the 21-year-old’s ability to cope with the physical nature of the Premier League is unlikely to change.

That leaves two options for Tottenham. The first is to sell the Spaniard and try to recoup his fee, which can then be used to build Conte and Paratici’s squads for next season.

The second option is to loan Gil out on loan to continue his development and ensure the right club is chosen to play at week after week whilst continuing his physical development to prepare him for the Premier League at a later date .

At just 21, Gil has four years left on his contract at Tottenham and another loan would not only help increase his value but the club could also consider the prospect of Conte not being their head coach at some point in the future.

Gil remains one of the most talented young players in Europe and Spurs are often reluctant to give up their younger purchases, aged just 12 months. The players will return to pre-season training in early July ahead of their trip to South Korea, but will he be among them?

Much will depend on what offers come in for the winger and are not expected to be in short supply. The key for Tottenham isn’t making sure Gil doesn’t slip through his fingers to become a star elsewhere.

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