Steven Bergwijn MIA as Tottenham travel to Slovenia to clash with NŠ Mura

Dutch international absent from traveling squad

Antonio Conte’s Tottenham has set off to Slovenia as Spurs are set to tackle minnows NŠ Mura in the Europa Conference League tomorrow evening at Mestni stadion Fazanerija in Murska Sobota but will be without the services of Dutch international forward Steven Bergwijn.

Football.London‘s Tottenham correspondent Alasdair Gold understands that the former PSV stalwart was not in training earlier today in the run-up to the first-team’s departure despite Conte mentioning his preference to rotate players that are in desperate need of respite. The Athletic’s Charlie Eccleshare tweeted that Bergwijn is missing tomorrow’s proceedings through illness, however, and would hopefully be back in contention soon.

Bergwijn had already missed the first meeting against the Slovenian outfit on matchday two when Tottenham thrashed Čarno-bejli 5-1 after an ankle injury kept him out of action on six occasions before Antonio Conte took over for Nuno Espírito Santo, and tomorrow’s meeting would have signaled the opportune time for the Amsterdam-native to state his cause under the Italian headmaster.

Tottenham boss wants center-back reinforcements

Antonio Conte and three-at-the-back are as synonymous as America and McDonald’s, so perhaps it comes as no surprise that the Italian is rumored to be looking to recruit a pair of center-backs in January as he looks to stamp his image on the Tottenham first-team.

Spurs forward absent from traveling squad as Antonio Conte’s Tottenham set-off for Slovenia

Manchester United’s Eric Bailly (left) and Luton Town’s George Moncur during the Carabao Cup third round match at Kenilworth Road, Luton. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

According to Duncan Castles on the Transfer Window Podcast mentioned the potential upcoming reinforcement plan that Conte hopes to achieve, which could include a surprise move for Manchester United center-back Eric Bailly;

Conte is making big demands. This isn’t unexpected because to get him into the club Fabio Paratici and therefore Daniel Levy, and you hope that Daniel Levy is aware of the promises that, Fabio Paratici made to Conte, was that he would be provided with a squad that could compete, that would have a chance of getting into the Champions league through this season, which means significant spending in January and then a big spend in the summer to give them the opportunity to properly compete for the Premier League title next season.

So there is an understanding there that the large amount of money Tottenham have stored away, in the sense of they have a low wages to turnover ratio, they now have the stadium operating at close to the expected financial gain, they haven’t managed to get the naming rights for naming rights lane yet, but that’s in progress. The money will be channelled into the team. Conte, one of the things he’s asking for in January is not one, but two starting centre-backs.

He later continued;

Conte feels it’s fundamental to improve a centre-back, to get his five-at-the-back system working properly. Options, one of the individuals they’re in discussion about, although as I understand it no offer has been made at this point, is a Manchester United player, Eric Bailly. He’s someone that Conte likes and was looking at as a possible recruit at Inter.”

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Author: Andrew Thompson

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