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Leave Kulusevski has a potential to become one of the best Premier League players

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One of Tottenham Hotspur’s biggest X-factors in the 2021-22 season, Dejan Kulusevski exemplified the “start running” adage when he arrived at the club last January. In that window, the Spurs tried but ultimately failed to add a number of players they had targeted. The most notable was Porto’s Luis Diaz, whom Spurs lost after first trying to “look” at Liverpool. Towards the end of the January window, Spurs General Director of Football Fabio Paratici returned to the familiar well of Italy and Juventus by adding the duo Rodrigo Bentancur and Kulusevski.

The duo immediately became critical contributors to Spurs in their slim chances of finishing in a Champions League place. Of the two, Kulusevski was the more attractive option. At Juve, Kulusevski was babbling under new manager Massimiliano Allegri, and his playing time was dwindling. Since Cristiano Ronaldo left Juve, the Turin-based Serie A superpower has experienced a fall from grace and Kulusevski became a bystander. Even after Kulusevski was loaned out to Spurs, Juve supporters were more than happy to see him go, with the expectation that his move would eventually become permanent.

Kulusevski’s arrival at Spurs became the perfect moment for the Swede as he entered a much better environment under Antonio Conte and with a team that was making the right adjustments and moving in the right direction. The marriage was not only perfect for Kulusevski, it was also perfect for Spurs. Outside of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son, Spurs had been trying for years to find a perfect complementary piece outside of their two stars. Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn were tried again and again under multiple managers, but Kane e Son’s impact was taken to the next level when Kulusevski entered the fold.

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To begin with, Kulusevski immediately took the forehand position and made it his own as part of Conte’s preferred 3-4-3 form. With Kulusevski in there, Spurs finally had an attacker playing on the right side who went left. We know how important and critical this can be: Gareth Bale and Arjen Robben are two examples of recent players who stood out on the right largely due to the threat they posed by cutting inside with their strong foot.

In the right side attacking position, Kulusevski, with Son on the opposite side, were basically asked to play dual number ten roles. It was the perfect role for Kulusevski, who has the ideal characteristics for the spot. Despite being only 22 years old, Kulusevski plays like a seasoned veteran. He has exceptional decision-making skills, is extremely strong on the ball and does well at keeping defenders at bay. While he certainly isn’t the fastest player, he makes up for it with his heist game and his unique ability to win single duels against defenders in dangerous areas. It’s been said here and there before, but Kulusevski is a lot like Kane in that he won’t beat you for athleticism and speed, but he can find ways to manipulate defenders and defenders alike due to his footballing intelligence and game – reading skill.

As well as being a unique player in the attacking third, “Deki” proved to be a perfect cog in Conte’s setup because he could not only do what was required of him in the Italian coach’s playing patterns and tactics, but he could also ad lib and improvise on the spot. Kulusevski is also a constant corridor. He has spoken of preferring to “suffer”, a theme Conte reiterated at the start of his Spurs Life. In Kulusevski, Spurs get a player who doesn’t take any time off. Not only is he dangerous in attack or on the counter-attack, but he is a composed player when defending and relates well to Spurs’ right-backs when playing from behind, particularly Matt Doherty before the Irishman’s season-ending injury. .

We’ve talked before about how Conte streamlines instructions and instructions based on what a player can do well and how those skills can be integrated with the rest of the team. So it’s no surprise that Doherty’s best run of his Spurs career came after Kulusevski got used to the setup and the way Spurs played. After years of being a team focused mainly on accumulating and attacking on the left side with Sergio Reguilón and son, the Spurs became much more balanced and dangerous when Kulusevski settled in Spurs, since the opponents could no longer concentrate on Spurs ‘left flank.

And despite all the great things we can say about Kulusevski, the truth is that he is still disrespected in the football media. When the Spurs signed Richarlison late last week, many people seemed to forget about Kulusevski in this current iteration of the Spurs. In just 18 games last season, Kulusevski had five goals and eight assists. If you extrapolate that over an entire 38-game league campaign, Kulusevski would be just outside the top 10 in goals and would lead the league in assists by a pretty wide margin – Mohamed Salah finished with just 13. And this is despite the fact. He is still only 22 years old and was officially registered in the Premier League on the last day of January.

Maybe it’s because of the way he plays or the fact that his name has been around European markets for quite some time, but Kulusevski seems to be forgotten when people think of the best U-25 players in the world. As mentioned, Kulusevski has been in elite European club circles for several years since he broke through with Atalanta at the end of the 2019 season. i nerazzurri, known for producing talent particularly in Italy, sent Kulusevski on loan to Parma, where he quickly made a name for himself, so much so that Juve spent a lot of money on him in the January window of that season before sending him back to Parma on loan. to continue. with his development. At Parma, Kulusevski was awarded Serie A Best Young Player of the Season, scoring ten goals and nine assists. So while Kulusevski did not experience that same form during his time at his parent club Juve (his playing time diminished when Juve loaned out Federico Chiesa under Allegri), he was still a player who believed at the time despite his young age and inexperience. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Deki’s transfer to Juventus was orchestrated by none other than Paratici himself.

So while Juve supporters were happy to see Kulusevski go, he once again looks like the dangerous player many Serie A watchers saw during his time at Parma. At Parma, albeit in a worse league, the whole setup was based on him, as he was clearly the best player of his. At Spurs, Kulusevski isn’t even second fiddle and has the perfect complementary traits and the perfect coach to develop him further.

Kulusevski has all the intangibles for managers to work with and is proving time and time again how important he can be for Tottenham. There are skills in his game that can make him one of the best players in the league as he continues to get used to playing in England. And with Kane (28) and Son (30 on Friday) getting older, the Spurs have the perfect player in Kulusevski to take the load off the Spurs’ main duo. He has a perfect opportunity to become one of the best attackers in England.

Follow me in Twitter @RyanSRatty.

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