Tottenham Hotspur defender Matt Doherty has been ‘struggling’ behind-the-scenes after his ‘serious’ injury last season, according to manager Antonio Conte.
The Lowdown: Doherty impresses…
The Republic of Ireland international showcased his true ability under Conte at Spurs last campaign, becoming a real fixture in the Lilywhites starting eleven before his season-ending injury.
Doherty was ruled out for the remainder of 2021/2022 after picking up a knee problem just 21 minutes into a 4-0 win away to Aston Villa in April, stunting his momentum and granting Emerson Royal a long run at right-wing-back.
As Spurs seek to finish in the Premier League top four again by the end of 22/23, whilst also potentially competing for silverware, there have been question marks surrounding Emerson’s suitability to the role.
The Latest: Conte provides Doherty context…
Now, Lilywhites boss Conte has provided some background as to why Doherty hasn’t been featuring over the Brazilian despite being deemed match fit.
The Italian explains that his defender has been ‘struggling’ behind-the-scenes after his ‘serious’ knee injury, but luckily for supporters, he is now ‘improving a lot’.
“Matthew [Doherty] had a serious injury and is struggling a bit to come back as the player I knew last season. Now he is improving a lot. He’ll have 2 national games and come back and I’ll have the possibility to have another player with rotation.”
The Verdict: Good news…
Having the former Wolves star back at 100 per cent after the next round of international fixtures will come as good news for Spurs.
Doherty has earned the praise of Conte for fighting his way back into Tottenham’s plans this year with Chelsea’s former head coach hailing his ‘improvement’.
You could make the debate that Spurs’ 2020 signing is arguably more suited to Conte’s wing-back role than Emerson given he shone in a similar system at Molineux.
That being said, Conte will want Doherty back to this best before this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.
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