Steven Bergwijn started brightly this season at Tottenham Hotspur and looked to be a player who would thrive under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo. However, Stevie picked up an ankle injury while on international duty with the Netherlands, recovered, then played in Spurs’ away draw against Rennes on September 20 where he got kicked in the same ankle, and it has taken until now for him to get better and return to fitness.
Tomorrow’s Europa Conference League match against Vitesse would be an excellent opportunity for Bergwijn to make his return, and Nuno clearly agrees — in his pre-match press conference, the Tottenham head coach stressed that Bergwijn is important to Tottenham’s success this season, and confirmed that he would make his first start for the club since the Rennes match.
“I just talked with Stevie to prepare himself because he’s returning from a tough period that he was out, and it’s a good opportunity for him to get sharper, to get faster and stronger. Because we need Stevie in our future.
“Stevie started the season very very well. Very, very well. Unfortunately he got injured in the national team, he got injured in national team, and since then he’s struggled again. But now he’s getting back, like I said to you before, it’s about getting him fitter, stronger, faster because he’s a very talented player. Very talented player. Unique inside our squad.
“He has things that really can really help us. He’s fantastic in 1v1, offensive, he’s fast, he gives us speed. He gives us… We need Stevie. I repeat myself: we need Stevie.”
Nuno is planning for heavy rotation in tomorrow’s match in Arnheim, with none of the starting XI at Newcastle traveling to the match. That will provide players like Bergwijn, Dele, and Lo Celso ample opportunities to play and impress. We know Stevie has a lot of potential; it’s notable that Nuno turned to him in the forward attacking band early in the season, and this does feel like a chance for him to not only get back some match sharpness but also perhaps play his way back into Premier League lineup plans.
That’d be great, since Spurs aren’t exactly super deep. Bergwijn is stylistically a similar player to Lucas Moura and is probably competing for that position in the lineup. A good performance against a middling Dutch team alongside some inexperienced players such as Dane Scarlett should be a good proving ground. Let’s hope he takes advantage, because Nuno is right — we need Stevie. Just protect that ankle, will you?