This morning Steven Bergwijn looked like he’d be a shoo-in to start for Tottenham Hotspur as they travel to Slovenia to face [checks notes] NS Mura in the Europa Conference League on Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Stevie was left in London by Antonio Conte will what is being described by The Athletic’s Charlie Eccleshire as “illness.”
Understand Bergwijn misses out on trip to Slovenia with illness. Hopefully back soon for #THFC.— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) November 24, 2021
That’s a bummer. Stevie actually had a pretty decent international break, assisting once and scoring the goal that earned the Netherlands qualification to next winter’s World Cup in Qatar. It sure looked like he would have been one of the players who Antonio Conte said “needs minutes” and a road match against a eastern European side that’s winless in Spurs’ ECL group would’ve been an excellent opportunity.
Where does that mean for Spurs? Boy, who knows. We haven’t really seen enough out of Conte to make a solid prediction as to who he’ll slot into that right sided midfield role. Maybe someone like Bryan Gil will come in. Another fun option would be a youngster like Jack Clarke or Dilan Markanday, both of whom can play those wider midfield/inside forward kind of roles. Or maybe Conte decides to play it safe and bring Lucas Moura back in, despite him playing 90 minutes last weekend. All we know is that it’s not going to be Gio Lo Celso, who is battling an injury and was also left home.
It sucks for Stevie, though. I’m still pulling for him to do well this season, and think he will have opportunities going forward under Conte.