Antonio Conte makes intriguing claim about Steven Bergwijn, suggests he wants to keep him at Spurs

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Antonio Conte has told his pre-Chelsea press conference on Tuesday – as per Football London – that Tottenham do not have another player like Steven Bergwijn. The Dutch ace is the subject of interest from Newcastle and Ajax.

Bergwijn, 24, has failed to play a regular part for Tottenham since the arrival of Conte as manager. Little niggles have led to a stop-start spell under the Italian gaffer. He has missed the last four games with a calf issue.

But when fit, Conte did use the ex-PSV man – bringing him on as a substitute in three Premier League games. He also started Bergwijn in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals win over West Ham – scoring one, and creating another.

Sky Sports report that Tottenham have rejected a £15million offer for Bergwijn from Ajax, with talks ongoing. 90Min say Newcastle want him on loan. But Conte suggests that Tottenham might be better off keeping him.

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“He knows very well what I think about him. I consider him a player that can play all the three roles, as a number 9 and number 10. In my period at Tottenham, he was injured for a long time.

“I showed him that when he is fit I gave him a chance. He is very close to coming back. He is a player with different characteristics than Harry, Son and Moura, he is a player we don’t have in our squad.”

Conte on Bergwijn: Tottenham boss to keep out-of-favour star?

Realistically, Tottenham will not want to loan Bergwijn out. He is more useful to the North Londoners by providing cover for Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min – especially with the latter currently injured.

So, unless the asking price is met, Bergwijn does not look as if he is going anywhere. Tottenham will hardly want to make a loss on the attacker, meaning they will be looking for a fee close to his £27million outlay.

But Conte is seemingly a believer in the Netherlands international. He is confident he is yet to see the best of Bergwijn, due to injury. To say Spurs have no-one like Bergwijn suggests that he wants to keep him.

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

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