Harry Kane poised for rare Tottenham rest with Antonio Conte ready to use new signings as hectic period begins

·4-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

Antonio Conte has revealed that Harry Kane will have to be rested for the first time in nearly four years across the next seven matches but says new Tottenham signings Yves Bissouma, Richarlison and Clement Lenglet are all ready to start.

Tottenham's visit to Nottingham Forest on Sunday is the first in a run of seven games in 21 days before the September international break, and Conte said he would be "crazy" not to rotate his XI.

Kane has not been rested for a major League or Champions League game since December 2018, when he sat out the 2-0 win over Leicester three days before Spurs faced Barcelona at the Camp Nou, but Conte admitted it would be impossible for any player to start the next seven games.

Asked if he would be prepared to rest Kane, the Spurs head coach said: "We are talking about a situation that we have to start to face, from Sunday we have to play seven games every three days.

"After every game I will have to check the situation with all of the players for tiredness and injuries. And one player will not be able to play in all seven games - it is impossible. I am not a magician! I cannot forecast this, but we go game by game to make the best decisions for the team and for the players.

"There is a World Cup in November and now in 23 or 24 days we have seven games," added Conte, whose side face rivals West Ham on Wednesday. "It’s crazy to think we can put always the same players. In this transfer market, our target was to improve the squad because we know very well we have to face four competitions, so to have the possibility to make rotations without dropping the level is important.

"Now we start to play games every three days, you understand if a team is strong or not."

Conte has resisted using the majority of his six summer signings in Spurs' opening three games, although Ivan Perisic made his full debut in last weekend's 1-0 win over Wolves.

The Italian continued: "It’s positive for me to have [new] players early because we can work with the new players and bring these players into our ideas. Richarlison, Clement Lenglet, Bissouma, Perisic - they are ready to go into the team and to play.

Harry Kane has not been rested for a major Premier League or Champions League game since 2018 (PA)
Harry Kane has not been rested for a major Premier League or Champions League game since 2018 (PA)

“We will do it because it would be crazy to think we can play the same team every game in 23 days. We have just started the season and it was impossible for these players to have more minutes. Now we start the season and for sure every single player has to play. I think it was really good for me to have these players early because in this way we work together to adapt themselves in the tactical and physical aspect.

“Sometimes I am really surprised when I see players who sign the day before and the day later they play because when there is organisation, or a tactical idea to sign a player the day before and a day later he plays? Yeah, it is difficult for the player to go into an idea, if there is an idea of football."

Conte, though, was more cautious about Djed Spence's prospects of breaking into the team after leaving him out of the matchday squad for the past two games.

Spence, 21, impressed on loan at Forest last season, helping them to promotion, but Conte says the £15million summer signing from Middlesbrough needs time to adapt to the Premier League.

Antonio Conte insists Djed Spence is working hard to reach the required level at Tottenham (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
Antonio Conte insists Djed Spence is working hard to reach the required level at Tottenham (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

“I was very clear at the start when I said this signing is a really good prospect, he’s a young player. This signing, the club wanted to invest in this player.

“The difference is clear. To play in the Championship with Nottingham Forest and then with Tottenham, he needs time to adapt himself in many aspects, in the physical aspect and the tactical aspect because now he is working with another coach.

“I’m seeing a lot of desire, a lot of will, from this player to try to reduce this gap and to be ready. With a young player, it’s important to have patience, to work and then to improve. I’m sure Djed for the future will be an important player for Tottenham."