talkSPORT pundit tears into five Tottenham stars
Gabby Agbonlahor believes Antonio Conte must sign an entire new defence as Tottenham Hotspur have no one of the standard he needs at the club, while speaking on talkSPORT.
The former Aston Villa striker has issued a scathing assessment of Conte’s Spurs ranks in comparison to Chelsea’s. Thomas Tuchel saw his Blues emerge 3-0 winners on aggregate over their London rivals in the Carabao Cup semi-final following two comfortable results.
Particularly during the first-half, the gap in class was clear to see in Wednesday’s second-leg. Chelsea took the lead and settled the tie when Antonio Rudiger evaded Tottenham’s marking to score. Timo Werner had also spurned an earlier chance to break the deadlock.
Davinson Sanchez’s poor attempted clearance fell invitingly to Werner, but the German lifted his shot over the bar. Conte also needed midfielder Giovani Lo Celso to block Malang Sarr’s attempt. While Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi also enjoyed sights of goal.
Agbonlahor issues scathing assessment of Conte’s Tottenham defenders
Conte could not name arguably his best centre-back, Cristian Romero, as he continues his recovery from injury. The Argentine – signed on loan from Atalanta in August with a £47m purchase clause – has not featured since November.
The Italian instead fielded Emerson Royal, Japhet Tanganga, Ben Davies and Matt Doherty with Sanchez. Despite TEAMtalk reporting Spurs have offered Tanganga to Wolves as part of their Adama Traore pursuit. The Athletic also cite Doherty as a possible counterpart.
Agbonlahor seemingly agrees, as he believes no manager in the world can get the five men Conte fielded in Tottenham’s second-leg defeat to Chelsea to reach the standard required.
“You look at their defence – five at the back, Doherty, Tanganga, Sanchez, Davies, Emerson Royal – they’re not good enough,” he said. “They’re not good enough defenders to play the likes of Lukaku, Werner, Hudson-Odoi. Just not good enough, plain and simple.
“It doesn’t matter if you get Pep [Guardiola], Sir Alex [Ferguson], anyone could go in there and would not get any more out of these players. They’re not good enough. If you’ve got your level, you can’t get any better.”
Emerson and Romero were Tottenham’s latest defensive transfers. They also signed Sergio Reguilon, Doherty and Joe Rodon last season. Yet Rodon is another they offered to Wolves.