The Lowdown: Preparation in South Korea
The Spurs squad and coaching staff all flew out to Asia on Saturday to begin their pre-season tour of South Korea, where they have already completed some gruelling training sessions in front of excited audiences at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
After a couple of days of preparation, the Lilywhites are now set to take on Team K League in their opening pre-season game on Wednesday, but are likely to have to do it without two of their first-team stars.
The Latest: Gold’s injury update
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, Gold shared the latest on Tottenham’s current injury situation. He wrote:
“Some Spurs injury news for you ahead of tomorrow’s match against Team K League. Ivan Perisic not ready yet to feature and Dejan Kulusevski a doubt.”
Expanding in his column for Football.London, the journalist stated that the Croatian is ‘working his way back’ after sustaining a calf injury during Inter’s final game before joining, with the winger in his ‘final stages’ of fitness work before returning to ball action.
Kulusevski’s stance on the other hand is a little bit more optimistic, but there still remains ‘question marks’ over whether he will be available for selection due to leaving Monday’s training session early as a precaution after picking up a ‘small calf problem’.
It’s understood that he ‘wasn’t involved’ in the training action on Tuesday and is a ‘doubt’ for the upcoming fixture.
The Verdict: Blow for pre-season plans
Conte not having Perisic, and possibly also Kulusevski, available for Spurs’ opening pre-season game will come as a blow for the boss.
The Swede was an absolute revelation during his debut season in N17, making 13 goal contributions in just 20 appearances across all competitions since joining on loan from Juventus in January, and the chance to further increase his chemistry in the team would not have gone amiss.
The Italian would have also been hoping to integrate his summer signings into his new system as he sets up his new-look squad for the 2022/23 campaign, but that won’t be possible with Perisic now, so Conte will hold out a little longer before he finalises his Premier League starting XI, a potentially frustrating situation for the very particular tactician.
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