Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte was praised for Dejan Kulusevski’s “big impact” following a dominant win over Southampton.
On Saturday, a 4-1 victory in north London marked Spurs’ most significant opening-day win since beating Aston Villa 3-0 in August 1986.
Kulusevski was the show’s star, assisting Ryan Sessegnon’s equaliser before adding his name to the scoresheet in the second half. He took his impressive Premier League record to six goals and nine assists in 17 matches.
He crafted three chances for teammates and finished with a hugely impressive 92.1 per cent passing accuracy while also making four tackles – proof of his ability to work back defensively.
Conte told BBC Sport:
“Dejan made a significant impact but also last season. He and Rodrigo [Bentancur] integrated well with the squad.
“Dejan has continued in this way, but he has to continue to work in this way with his behaviour.
“He has a lot of ambition – he wants to become one of the best players in his role.
“I think this ambition is good. If he is humble and works to continue to work, he can do that.”
Spurs’ win came without Conte handing starts to any of his six additions so far in the transfer window.
And he believes the performance displays his work with the squad in recent months.
“It was a perfect start for us, despite going behind. We started well because we were leading the game, but we conceded a goal after this, we continued to play, and we continued to believe in what we are working on in the training sessions,” he added.
“I liked the game a lot for the result but especially how the effect was created – creating many chances to score, good possession, good high and medium pressure, and we were good when we lost the ball and the intensity to try and get it back.
“I saw many positive things, but we are only in the first game. Today we have seen summer work with my players.”
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