Tottenham boss Antonio Conte may have another Victor Moses but £22.5m transfer exit likely

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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte may have another Victor Moses but £22.5m transfer exit likely

Antonio Conte has suggested he has another Victor Moses at Tottenham. The Spurs boss reshaped Moses into a right-sided wing-back to great success a

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Antonio Conte has suggested he has another Victor Moses at Tottenham. The Spurs boss reshaped Moses into a right-sided wing-back to great success at Chelsea, the Nigerian a near ever-present in the Blues’ 2016-17 title-winning season. Moses, previously a forward, produced three Premier League goals and three assists as Chelsea ruled supreme.

Conte, who favours the 3-4-3 formation or a similar variation, has converted many players into wing-backs during his managerial career. Ivan Perisic is another beneficiary and the Croatian joined Spurs this summer on a free transfer from Inter Milan with the idea of becoming their first-choice option on the left-hand side.

Now, the Italian boss believes he has a new option on the right at Spurs – even though he is about to add Djed Spence to his squad and also has Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal who can play there. Lucas was deployed as a wing-back on the right in a friendly against Sevilla on Saturday and linked well with Richarlison in South Korea.

Conte explained of his plans: “I spoke with Lucas and I think that this will be a good option for me and in the past I converted Perisic in that position. Moses was the same. [Antonio] Candreva was the same. Before a winger and then to become a wing-back.

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“For sure he has great quality Lucas and I think this could be a good option. The most important thing is that the player has to be 100 per cent sure to do it, but he is available and Lucas Moura for us is a great resource because he can play in many roles. He can play behind the striker, on the right, on the left, as a wing-back. I’m very happy for his commitment for what I’m seeing in the training sessions and tonight I think he played a good game.”

It was thought Lucas might depart the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer as he enters the last two years of his contract. That’s with Richarlison having been added to Spurs’ attacking options, with Conte also having Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski and Bryan Gil to pick from in his front three. Perisic can also play further forward on the left wing.

Yet Lucas may be revitalised as a new wing-back just as Moses and Perisic previously were by Conte. He will be a handy attack-minded option in games where Spurs are on top. But if the Brazilian stays as now expected, however, then that spells bad news for his fellow Brazilian Royal.

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Royal – rated at £22.5million by Transfermarkt – was ousted by Doherty as the first-choice right wing-back last season only for the Irishman to suffer a knee ligament tear, inviting him back into the team. The signing of Spence – who will cost an initial £12.5million from Middlesbrough – was bad news enough for Royal with Doherty also fully fit again.

Doherty has vowed to stay at Spurs and “fight” for his place, saying: “We’ve got an exciting season ahead. Why would I want to go anywhere else?” But Conte does not need Spence, Doherty, Royal and Lucas all as options in the role, regardless of how demanding a season it will be.

Royal will surely be the player sacrificed by Conte as a result of the Lucas experiment. The north Londoners will do well to get the aforementioned £22.5m value for him, though. They might even have to accept an initial loan deal.



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