Tottenham winger Dejan Kulusevski has revealed that thoughts of ‘revenge’ have been motivating him throughout his impressive first year at the club.
The 22-year-old made the move to north London along with his then-Juventus teammate Rodrigo Bentancur last January.
Speaking ahead of his side’s game against Manchester City on Sunday, Kulusevski admitted that he was relishing proving his doubters wrong, and was using it as fuel to propel his fine form in the Premier League.
“That’s how you want to be as a person – when you come into a room, you want to change the energy, you want to bring something to the table,” the Swede said.
“That’s what I try to do and that’s what Rodrigo did. I had a lot of revenge in my head. From Juventus. In the last few months, I didn’t play so much. A lot of anger. I didn’t like where my football was going. So, it was just revenge for that. That’s all I wanted…to show
Kulusevski has scored in both the games he has played against City for Spurs, but will be hoping Sunday’s clash goes more like the dramatic 3-2 win at the Etihad last season and less like the 4-2 defeat at the same ground a few weeks ago.
“In all the big games this season, we haven’t been good enough,” he added. “We have lost them. That’s why we are fifth. It’s important we get this win. We were close a couple of weeks ago at City. We played an amazing first-half but not in the second. The time to push on is now.”
Spurs will be without their manager Antonio Conte on the touchline, with the Italian recovering from surgery to remove his gallbladder. Conte has endured a tough season off the pitch, with his health scare following the death of three of his close friends in fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone and former players Sinisa Mihajlovic and Gianluca Vialli.
When asked whether the team will be inspired to go out and win for their manager at the weekend, Kulusevski concluded: “Absolutely, if he is not there and we win, he will be the happiest man on earth. Bringing joy to people is always a good thing.
“We have a lot of responsibilities to play for him. Even when he is not here, we have to do what he has taught us.
“We are professional and have a job to do but, besides that, we are humans, we have feelings. He doesn’t show it, really. He doesn’t complain. He’s really strong. He is an example. But I think people should be aware that it’s been a really, really tough year.”