HomePremier LeagueAntonio Conte could unearth Spur's own Saliba in “perfect”...

Antonio Conte could unearth Spur’s own Saliba in “perfect” £17.3m “potential superstar”

Antonio Conte could unearth Spur’s own Saliba in “perfect” £17.3m “potential superstar”

Tottenham were rapidly sinking under Nuno Santo’s management at this time last year.

The Portuguese had won manager of the month for August at the start of the season, but that was the best the former Tottenham goalkeeper could get.

He appeared to be out of his depth and would eventually be fired, with Antonio Conte taking over.

The Italian has been in the lineup for nearly a year and has clearly improved. Tottenham’s start to the 2022/23 season is their best in a single top-flight season, but they remain behind rivals Arsenal.

The Gunners are currently on a non-stop train to success, thanks in large part to William Saliba.

Unai Emery signed the young French defender, but he would spend three loan spells in his homeland with Saint Etienne, Nice, and Marseille.

He was named Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year while at OM, and his time across the channel has proven game-changing.

After maturing greatly on loan, the young brute of a center-back is now one of the first names on the team sheet.

In terms of loan spells, the French top flight appears to be a productive one right now, with fellow Arsenal man Folarin Balogun scoring six goals in 11 appearances at Reims.

Of course, Saliba wasn’t quite that prolific, but he was exceptionally good defensively, having played a total of 50 matches in the top flight over the last two seasons.

Since returning to London, the 21-year-old has been a breath of fresh air in Mikel Arteta’s defensive ranks, displaying an impressive sense of composure and positioning.

He is unfazed by anything and is content to just sit there and defend, despite the fact that he has already found the net twice.

His defensive exploits would make any team in the division envious, but Spurs may have found their own version in Welsh defender Joe Rodon.

Since moving to London from Swansea, the 24-year-old has made only 24 appearances for the Lilywhites.

Even with the error-prone Davinson Sanchez in their ranks, he couldn’t force his way into the team, and it appears that Antonio Conte doesn’t either.

The young center-back, like Saliba, has been forced out on loan to Ligue 1 this season, where he is currently finishing a season-long loan with Rennes.

We’ve already seen the benefits of learning your trade and progressing south of the channel with Arsenal’s imperious centre-half, and Spurs may be hoping to unearth their own version of the ever-impressive Frenchman.

The problem is that regardless of how well Rodon performs this season, Tottenham could lose him.

Rennes has a €20 million (£17.3 million) option to buy him if they want to keep him permanently, according to the loan terms.

Conte is unlikely to be bothered at the moment, but if he starts to develop like the aforementioned Saliba, they may regret selling him so cheaply.

Not only is there a French connection, but Rodon also falls into the aggressive ball-playing category.

He has completed 89.2% of his passes in nine Ligue 1 games this season, but he also has a brute force element to his game, winning 2.8 aerial duels per match.

When it comes to composed passing, Saliba is one of the best around, with a completion rate of 92.6% putting him among the top defenders in possession.

Rodon may not be there yet, but a year in France could do wonders for his confidence and development.

Jose Mourinho described him as a “perfect” player who “works very hard.” There’s no doubt that he’s willing to put in the effort to improve.

If he sticks to that mantra, he could live up to John Hartson’s prediction, with the defender’s countryman calling him a “potential superstar.” In that case, only time will tell.

Antonio Conte could unearth Spur’s own Saliba in “perfect” £17.3m “potential superstar”

- Advertisement -



- Advertisement -