Takeaways From Tottenham’s Korean Preseason Tour

Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Takeaways From Tottenham’s Korean Preseason Tour


Takeaways From Tottenham’s Korean Preseason Tour


Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Today, Tottenham Hotspur finished their preseason tour in South Korea by drawing with Sevilla 1-1 in the final game of the Coupang Play Series. Tottenham played two games in this series, one against the K-League All-Stars on Wednesday, which Spurs won 6-3, and then today against Sevilla. Tottenham’s preseason is not done yet, as they still have to play Scottish side Rangers and then AS Roma. However, the training in Korea and the two games played gave us some talking points as Tottenham begins to ramp up their preparations before the Premier League’s week one on August 6th against Southampton. 

1. Son and Kane Haven’t Missed a Beat

Tottenham’s two star players’ almost telepathic connection did not look rusty at all, as they ran rampant on both the K-League team and Sevilla in the two preseason matches. Kane scored three goals in two matches, including one today from a beautiful move and pass from Son. Both players look great already, and if Spurs want to compete for the Premier League title they will need the deadly duo to produce early and often. 

2. Oliver Skipp Looks Great: A Promising Sign for the Midfield

Tottenham’s highly regarded academy prospect missed the second half of last season with a groin injury. This preseason he has played his first two games since January and he has only gotten better. With Yves Bissouma out with COVID-19, Skipp looked to have surpassed Pierre-Emile Højbjerg on the depth chart. Skipp was winning balls back all over the pitch and playing pretty passes as well. Once Skipp gains more confidence in passing the ball against Premier League and Champions League competition he could end up being one of best central midfielders in the Premier League. Seriously, he has that potential. 

January signing Rodrigo Bentacur looked like the best midfielder in the squad in the two games, with an especially impressive 45 minutes against Sevilla. The Uruguayan midfielder showed great energy in pressing and passing and put in some strong tackles as well. 

A midfield pivot of Bissouma and Bentancur with Skipp and Højbjerg coming on as subs or coming in in rotation is a sneaky good midfield. Spurs won’t have the best or flashiest midfield, but these four can do what manager Antonio Conte asks of his midfielders well and will be effective this season. 

3. Another Center Back Signing Might Be Needed

Yes, Clement Lenglet just joined Tottenham as loan to help out at the center back position, but another defensively strong center back would be helpful if Tottenham has Premier League title aspirations. Lenglet will be useful against teams that sit back in a deep block, but against teams like Manchester City, Liverpool, and Manchester United, he will be a liability. Ben Davies played the left center back role admirably last year, but if he or central center back Eric Dier goes down with injury Tottenham is in trouble. Colombian defender Davinson Sanchez had some time playing the left center back role in the two games of the Coupang Play Series, and he wasn’t bad, but he is a bit shaky on the left side as he is a right-footed player. Sanchez is a very good backup on the right, but in Conte’s system where his side likes to play out of the back, Sanchez on the left could be problematic if he has to play there in season. 

4. Richarlison Looks Great

The £60 million player looked dangerous in the two games in South Korea. Playing as a striker and out wide on the right, Richarlison looked dangerous and even a bit creative. He should have had an assist against the K-League All-Stars, but Emerson Royal missed wide on an open goal after Richarlison got away from a few defenders through some pretty dibbling and laid a perfect pass to the Brazilian fullback. Richarlison likely won’t be a starter week in and week out, but rotation will be important for Conte’s Lilywhites who are in four competitions this season, including the top tier European competition in the Champions League. Injuries will happen, and having a player of Richarlison’s quality will be a big help. It doesn’t hurt that the Brazilian attacker looks like he might be even better than he was at Everton now that he has higher quality players surrounding him. 

5. The Youngsters Have Potential 

Tottenham has some high quality young players waiting in the wings such as academy prospect Troy Parrott, winger Bryan Gil, and midfielder Pape Matar Sarr. The three all looked good in the two games played, with the most notable improvement being seen from Parrott. Parrott, who has been overlooked by Dane Scarlett in the past two seasons, looked motivated and impressed in both fitness training and on the pitch. In the first match against the K-League All-Stars Parrott showed great movement to get into dangerous positions. While he wasn’t able to get onto the score sheet, he still passed the eye test. Gil and Sarr also looked good too, but all three likely need loans to get the much needed game time to continue to develop. 

As of now, the three young players likely will not see much playing time so the best way for them to continue to improve is to send them out on loan again. Gil needs to bulk up a bit, and Parrott just needs consistent playing time on an attacking team. Sarr has the best chance to stay with the team, but even then a loan to get consistent playing time might do him better than staying in Tottenham with the first team, but only playing in the odd Carabao or FA Cup game. 

While not ready yet, these three could be a big part of Tottenham;s future in only a few seasons. 

With their Korean preseason tour concluded, Tottenham will be headed back to North London to train and get ready for their next preseason match against Rangers. Lenglet and new right wing back signing Djed Spence will be joining the team for training when the club returns, so it will be interesting to see how they look as they will probably get an extensive look the remainder of the preseason.


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