Tottenham: £25m star would be 'surprise starter' vs Southampton

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte

Tottenham defender Clement Lenglet is unlikely to make his full debut against Southampton on Saturday, according to The Athletic reporter Charlie Eccleshare.

The £25m-rated star made the switch to the Premier League from Barcelona last month, but his lack of pre-season could see him miss out on the chance of a place in Antonio Conte’s starting XI on the opening day.

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It’s been a productive transfer window for Conte, although there’s a possibility that none of his six new signings could line up against Saints.

Fraser Forster will be on the bench unless Hugo Lloris suffers a late injury, while Richarlison is suspended after throwing a firework back into the crowd against Chelsea last season.

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Meanwhile, Conte confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Yves Bissouma will be assessed, while he’s yet to decide whether Ivan Perisic, who started just once in pre-season, is fit enough to play from the off.

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That leaves Djed Spence, who’s in a battle for the right wing-back spot with Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty, although given he didn’t play against Roma last weekend would suggest that he’s unlikely to get the nod, and Lenglet, who’s played just 65 minutes since his arrival in north London.

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Lenglet’s chances of starting were boosted by Ben Davies’ recent injury, although the Welshman has since recovered and is fit and available.

What did Eccleshare say about Lenglet?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “Maybe Lenglet could start if Davies is struggling but given that he hasn’t played a ton in pre-season, as well as Davies, I would be surprised if he started against Southampton.”

Who else could start at left centre-back against Southampton?

Davies and Lenglet are Conte’s only left-footed central defenders, but there’s also a possibility that Davinson Sanchez gets an opportunity.

The Colombia international is stronger either centrally or on the right of a back-three, but he featured much more heavily than both Davies and Lenglet in pre-season, playing at least 45 minutes in each friendly, which could lead towards Conte picking him.

Spurs fans will surely want to see as many new signings in the team as possible, but ahead of a long campaign, which includes the return of the Champions League next month, the Tottenham boss is unlikely to take any risks, especially this early, which could see Sanchez land a starting spot.

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