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Perisic out, Kulusevski questionable for Tottenham’s first preseason friendly in Korea

It’s preseason, don’t sweat it.

Tottenham Hotspur Training Session Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur fans’ first opportunity to see their new 2022-23 team in action will be on Wednesday as the club takes on a K-League All-Stars XI team in a preseason friendly in Seoul, South Korea. However, one of Tottenham’s newest signings is out, and another popular player is questionable for that match.

Tottenham “new boy” (and one of the oldest players on the team) Ivan Perisic will not feature for Antonio Conte’s squad in tomorrow’s friendly. According to Alasdair Gold in Football.London, the Croatian international is still working his way back from an injury he sustained to his calf at the very end of last season while he was at Inter Milan. Gold states that Perisic is progressing nicely in his fitness work and is participating in training, but has not yet moved to on-ball work.

Eagle-eyed observers of yesterday’s open training session at the Seoul World Cup Stadium might have noticed that Dejan Kulusevski left training early with what appeared to be a minor issue. Gold states that Deki is now a doubt for the friendly tomorrow and might be held out as a precaution, though noted that the calf issue that saw his withdrawal didn’t seem to be a huge issue.

In a press conference from Korea today, Conte said that he hopes to give every player at least one half of football to show what they can do.

“It’s a pleasure for me and the team and the club to stay here. We started the pre-season one week ago and now we are continuing to work here. We are enjoying our time in Korea, and we are preparing for tomorrow’s game. We know very well that it will be a good test for us.

“We are working a lot in these days on our idea of football and the tactical aspect and the physical aspect. I hope to see tomorrow during the game what we are trying to do in these days with the players and the team.

“Tomorrow in the game, my target is to give all the players at least 45 minutes because we are working very well and I think all the players deserve to play at least one half.”

It’ll be interesting to see whether Conte will also give 45 minutes to some of the younger players in the squad who accompanied the first team on this trip. Charlie Sayers, for example, is an 18 year old academy graduate and homegrown left back who, with Perisic out and Sergio Reguilon left in London, might be in line for some not-insignificant match minutes in Korea.

Likewise, this could be an opportunity for a younger player like Pape Matar Sarr, Bryan Gil, or Troy Parrott, all of whom impressed (from a fitness aspect) in yesterday’s open training. Those players on the fringes of the squad will need to take the opportunities they’re given in preseason in order to impress Conte and show that they can feature in his first team plans this season; those who don’t will likely be sent out on loan again.

Kickoff for Wednesday’s match is 7:00 a.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. BST. The match will be streamed on Tottenham’s SpursPLAY subscription service, but is also televised on CBS Sports Network in the United States.