Antonio Conte and Tottenham Hotspur are giving youth a chance by starting a young but strong senior XI in the Europa Conference League at NS Mura.
Without Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero, and Steven Bergwijn – who are all unavailable for Spurs outing in Slovenia – we knew some rotation was coming. However, with top youth player Dane Scarlett unavailable, Conte elected to go with an entirely senior squad but still is giving plenty of young players a chance to shine.
Last season, Japhet Tanganga was the only Tottenham player under 22 to get any regular minutes, and even then the defender played less than 1,000 minutes, according to transfermarkt.com. Versus NS Mura in the Conference League, Conte is starting three players 21 or younger in Ryan Sessegnon (21), Oliver Skipp (21), and Bryan Gil (20).
This is a big chance in a big game for Tottenham youngsters
Starting these young players is even more significant when you consider two other factors, Spurs must win against Mura to have an opportunity to advance in the competition, and there are some real stars around the younger players to see what they can really do.
For a young player like Bryan, there is a huge difference in playing in the attack with Harry Kane and Scarlett. No offense to Scarlett who one day may even be Kane’s better but right now, there is no doubt Gil has a better chance to shine serving balls into the team’s current talisman than their future star.
The opportunity is especially big for some and not just the young
For other players like Bryan, or Sessegnon, or even Joe Rodon and Tanganga – both of whom are starting – the match is huge to prove themselves to their new coach. While Oliver Skipp has had a couple of solid starts under Conte, Rodon has yet to play a minute and Sessegnon has only played 10.
Likewise, Tanguy Ndombele and Pierluigi Gollini are both making their debuts under Conte, while Dele Alli is getting his first extended action. A far cry from the total rotation of Santo but a good chance for a number of players to prove they have a place in this team. Let’s hope they do so.