Antonio Conte is concerned that Dejan Kulusevski will be unable to play for Tottenham ahead of the World Cup after the winger suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Kulusevski has not featured for Spurs since last month’s 6-2 thrashing of Leicester City, suffering the injury while on international duty with Sweden, which failed to qualify for the tournament in Qatar.
While Richarlison’s form initially allowed Spurs to cope in Kulusevski’s absence, the Brazilian attacker limped off a 2-0 win over his former club Everton last week, leaving Conte out of options. of forward.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash with Newcastle United, Conte said of Kulusevski: “I think we have to wait a bit to see him with us, it’s the same for Richarlison.
“Of course, this kind of situation creates a great, great difficulty. It’s normal. For me, also crossing my fingers because right now we have Harry. [Kane] and Sonny [Son Heung-min] in good health.
“I hope they keep it up, or I’ll have to think about putting on my shoes to play, me!
“When you are going to play the Champions League, especially if you play in the Premier League, you have to know that you are going to have a difficult season because of the injuries, because of the massive games, because of the players who get tired.”
Asked if he is worried that Kulusevski will not recover before the Premier League breaks for the World Cup next month, Conte said: “Yes, because his recovery was going well and then one day the situation got worse.” .
“So when this kind of situation happens, you have to reset. You need time, but we have the medical department to deal with injury situations, and they have to resolve the situation in a short period of time. If you are able to resolve the situation in a short period, it means points on the table.”
Tottenham have lost two of their last four Premier League (W2) games, suffering as many defeats in that period as in their previous 21 games in the competition.
Wednesday’s 2-0 setback at Manchester United represented the first time Spurs had failed to score in a Premier League game this season, and prompted Conte to declare that the two sides were operating on “different levels”.
Asked if Tottenham needed to sign another creative presence in the January transfer window, Conte said the club would assess their options during the World Cup break.
“Now, we have to try to finish this period, which is very difficult for us,” added the Italian. “You have important injuries and you have to deal with the situation in the best possible way.
Then we’ll see. We have to get to the last game in November and then with the club we will see the situation, if something needs to be done or if we continue in the same way”.