Tottenham look to be close to agreeing a deal to sign Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic when his contract expires this summer; the signing which offers Bryan Gil hope that he may yet still has a future at Spurs.
Winger Gil joined Spurs in the summer in a deal that saw the north Londoners pay Sevilla £21.6million and also allow Erik Lamela to join the La Liga club.
He came with a reputation as one of Spain’s brightest young talents but found adaptation to the Premier League’s physical style of play difficult, as he could not break into the fold in North London.
As a result, Antonio Conte sanctioned his loan move to Valencia January to let him continue his development.
But, Bryan hit the ground running quickly at Valencia that Spanish publication El Desmarque, compared the ‘magical’ 21-year-old to Lionel Messi, while Valencia’s supporters went viral when hundreds of them began chanting his name and asking him to stay beyond this season.
He was a key figure in helping the team reach the Copa del Rey final but then a hip problem saw his minutes dwindle in the season’s final weeks. In all he played 17 games for Valencia, three less than he did for Spurs, but 12 of them were starts.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, Gil bid farewell to Valencia and its supporters and expressed his gratitude for the club, yet there was a key part of his message that has confirmed his return to north London for pre-season, at least.
It translated as: “I’m lucky to have belonged to this great club. To this great family, I can only thank you for how you welcomed me, how you made me feel. I’m sure we’ll cross paths in the future, good luck and go Valencia.”
And by saying “I’m sure we’ll cross paths in the future”, it has all but confirmed that he shall link up with the Lilywhites in pre-season once more, despite reports that Valencia were considering a second loan for the Spaniard for the 2022-23 campaign, following an impressive spell at the La Liga side.
Antonio’s Conte’s Perisić treatment at Inter Milan: Does Bryan Gil still has a future at Tottenham?
Perisic, 33, has enjoyed a superb six years at the San Siro, using his versatility to great effect to inspire his side to a Serie A and Coppa Italia title last season while working under Antonio Conte. A reunion for the two men would certainly be an intriguing proposition – yet it is easy to forget that it initially looked like Conte was not a big fan of the Croatian.
When Conte arrived in Milan in 2019, he immediately sent Perisic out on loan to Bayern Munich, and appeared to shut down any possibility of him being part of his plans.
“Perisic did try to do what I asked, but I have negative sensations and I don’t think he can give the team what it needs. We need to evaluate things carefully,” he told reporters.
“I cannot complain about his effort and dedication, but there are roles to be respected. You cannot change the characteristics of a player, even if he tries.”
Despite this, after impressing at Munich Perisic returned a different player, and looked a man reborn as he began to significantly improve under Conte. Indeed, discussing the player once more at the end of that historic 2020-21 campaign, Conte said: “We sent Perisic to Bayern because he was not prepared to do the defending work I had asked for. He returned with a different mentality.
“I asked him the same things as last season, but he showed that he has extraordinary characteristics and needs to believe in himself more. The moment he started doing that, he started to play. He can be even more decisive.”
Likewise also, At some point in the last season, Matt Doherty appeared to have no future under Antonio Conte but the Irishman has become a regular starter under Conte, which he says is testament to his attitude.
“Matthew is the typical player that is showing a big improvement,” said Conte.
“If you remember at the start he didn’t play a lot with me because at that moment I think he didn’t deserve to play. Then he worked very hard.
“He is a really good guy and in every training session you see the desire and the will to improve himself.
“He has a great mentality, many times when players don’t play a lot they go down mentally. Instead he has shown me to be strong and shown me ‘I do what you want, I am going to improve and when I am ready I want to play’.
“He has shown me that not with talking, but with attitude and behaviour. He is playing very well and with great confidence and I am very happy for him. It’s a good example for everyone.”
Conte’s attitude shows that it is never too late for a player to impress him and perhaps, with the right mentality, there’s still a space in the team for anyone.
Does Bryan Gil still has a future at Tottenham? Let us know your opinion in the comment box.