Tottenham Hotspur left wing-back Ryan Sessegnon was left a frustrated figure on Saturday after being brought off during their opening-day victory.
This has been recalled by reliable Spurs journalist Alasdair Gold, who has been speaking on the latest episode of the Gold & Guest Talk Tottenham podcast.
Spurs ran out comfortable 4-1 victors in N17 on Saturday and it was Sessegnon’s goal that brought them level with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side after going behind.
And it was apparent the 22-year-old put in one of his more impressive displays, having been awarded with a 9/10 rating by Gold after the game.
However, with Spurs cruising, Antonio Conte replaced Sessegnon with Ivan Perisic after 66 minutes, and Gold spotted Sessegnon’s frustration with the Italian’s decision.
Gold said: “He didn’t look happy. I think he really wanted to stay on.
“That’s maybe part of all the physical side of it – bringing him off at that time. Just to keep building, because I think in every friendly, he’s played around 60 minutes, I think that’s about right. So it is, I guess, about not pushing him too hard.”
TIF Thoughts on Gold’s comments…
We do not think Gold’s comments suggest anything more than Sessegnon’s frustration at coming off on the day after putting in a brilliant performance against the Saints.
If the substitution was indeed planned, Sessegnon may have even known in advance he may not have seen out the full 90 minutes, though we understand his reaction given his dazzling performance – especially with Conte having strengthened his options in the defender’s position.
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And with the strength in depth now currently at Spurs, this should be expected from the players, with serious quality able to be brought on by Conte.
Although there may have been an initial frustration from Sessegnon, perhaps Conte had pulled the Englishman with the points all but secured and a huge game against Chelsea coming up at the weekend.