Tottenham Hotspur

Super Son, brilliant Bentancur, mixed Emerson: Every Spurs player and Conte rated for the season


Tottenham Hotspur ended the season in fourth place in the Premier League and have Champions League football to look forward to next season, but exactly how did the players and Antonio Conte fare over the course of the campaign?

Conte picked up a club with its morale on the floor which had brought about the departure of Nuno Espirito Santo and the Italian swept Tottenham up the table to finish the season ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United. There have been disappointments, certainly in all of the cup competitions domestic and abroad, and some of the Tottenham players have had some mixed performances under their two head coaches this term.

It’s time to dish out our ratings for the players and for Conte. It’s worth noting that our ratings are based on those individual players’ expectations for the season due to the previous standards they have set for themselves, rather than being a tool to compare them against their various team-mates.

READ MORE: Daniel Levy makes decision on Antonio Conte meeting as Harry Kane plans Tottenham future

We’ve looked at every single player who has played a minute for the first team this season. For some of the younger players who only have managed only a small amount of game time, we’ve not rated them but instead spoken about their performance and prospects next season, while some players in the ratings went on to ply their trade elsewhere, temporarily or permanently.

Let’s start with the goalkeepers.

Hugo Lloris

Another busy season for Spurs’ captain, who committed his future to the club with a new two-and-a-half year deal in January. He played 43 matches and ended up with the third most minutes in the squad under his belt with 3,900. There have been a couple of mistakes dotted here and there, but over all it has been a fine season for the Frenchman and he registered 16 clean sheets in the Premier League this campaign. With Fraser Forster set to arrive as his back-up, Lloris is expected to remain the number one at Tottenham for some time yet. 8

Pierluigi Gollini

The Italian arrived with Fabio Paratici and Espirito Santo believing they had brought in Lloris’ successor. However, he has struggled to show that in his 10 appearances this season and looks set to return to Atalanta. 5

Emerson Royal

It took the Brazilian a couple of weeks to settle in before he started to put in consistent performances under Espirito Santo, particularly with his defending. However, the move to wing-back under Conte tested his attacking credentials which were found wanting, with just one assist all season, and he lost his place to Matt Doherty. When the Irishman got injured, the head coach did switch things up a bit to allow Emerson to concentrate on his defending in the main and that benefited him in the final month or so with some good defensive displays. The summer signing played 41 times in his debut season for Spurs and is still just 23-years-old. His future at Tottenham will be decided by whether Conte believes he can become a wing-back and also what offers come in for him. 6.5

Japhet Tanganga

One of the stars of the start to the season with an excellent man of the match display against Manchester City, but then came that red card at Palace. Starts were then few and far between before a few mistaken-laden games and then a knee injury ended his season at the end of January. Needs to rid himself of this injury-prone tag before he can really progress. 5.5

Matt Doherty

A return to his natural wing-back role revitalised him under the Italian after barely featuring under Espirito Santo in the first half of the campaign. The Irishman went on to provide four assists and two goals and looked more and more comfortable as his confidence returned. Quickly struck up a partnership down the right with Kulusevski and fitted Conte’s system well. An unfortunate injury from a Matty Cash tackle ended his season prematurely after just 26 matches but he had already won Conte over and he might just have rescued his Spurs career. 6.5

Eric Dier

An impressive start to the season which earned him a Premier League Player of the Month nomination. There were a couple of mistakes afterwards but his absence for a month from January into February reminded Conte and many others just how pivotal he had become as the organiser of the defence. The 28-year-old believes it has been his most consistent season for Spurs – including those years in midfield under Pochettino – and it’s difficult to disagree. There’s still the odd error, but he’s definitely maturing as a defender and a leader in the team. Conte, who has worked with some of the top centre-backs in the game, believes he’s one of the best defenders in the league and stated that he can become one of the best in the world. Was crucial in the run-in. 8.5

Davinson Sanchez

The Colombian had a great start to the season and deserved a Player of the Month nomination that never came, but that isolation following the international break disrupted his rhythm. He later became a regular again during Romero’s time out and chipped in with a couple of goals, including the dramatic match-winner at Watford. Dier’s absence did not help him as he had to fit awkwardly into the more passing playmaker central role in the back three, but he returned seamlessly for the final three games of the season and was a rock at the back as Spurs kept three clean sheets. This has been a season in which Sanchez has shown more consistency across his 32 appearances, particularly when given a run of games and Conte likes him. 7.5

Cristian Romero has enjoyed a promising first season at Tottenham Hotspur

Cristian Romero

A top quality signing for Tottenham and it’s easy to forget that at 24 he’s only going to get better. International duty has been the biggest problem for Romero this season. He missed matches with the knee injury he arrived with from the Copa America and then a serious hamstring injury suffered with Argentina wiped him out for almost three months. There was also the isolation period after his early season Argentina call-up that descended into farce. There have been a couple of rash moments, not least the red card against Vitesse and the 10 yellow cards in all competitions, but with his ability on the ball and his aggressive defending, he’s only going to get better. He sorted out the on-pitch disciplinary issues after a public rebuke from Conte, who has high hopes for him and is pushing him hard. This would be an even higher mark but for all of that time out and a couple of mistakes. He’s going to be the long-term future of this Tottenham defence though and as Conte says, there’s plenty he can still improve on. 8.5

Joe Rodon

It’s been a tough time for the Welshman, hampered by an injury early in the season and thrown into the chaotic Premier League game at Crystal Palace before playing with two fractured ribs in the FA Cup. Rodon didn’t do much wrong in the 10 games he played in and he impressed in cameos against Arsenal and Burnley in the final month, but it’s difficult to see him at Spurs next season as he looks for more opportunities and that lack of game time is reflected in his mark. 5.5

Ben Davies

The Welshman has been a revelation under Conte and started all but one Premier League match under him and one cup match. The left-sided centre-back role has suited him perfectly, bringing more attacking responsibilities than the version of it he plays for his country. Not a headline-maker and will probably never truly be appreciated for what he does for the club, but few can disagree that he’s performed superbly at times this season, putting his body on the line constantly and he’s been there in the big games for Tottenham this season and reached new heights in the run-in. Conte has compared Davies’ role to that of Cesar Azpilicueta in his title-winning Chelsea side and he’s been a pivotal part of the team this season. 8

Cameron Carter-Vickers

Just the one performance from Carter-Vickers before he headed off to Celtic on loan. He had a tough day at the office that evening in Portugal with some nervy moments on the deck and in the air before injuring his ankle late on. He went on to make a huge impact for the Glaswegian side, playing almost every game, scoring the winner in an Old Firm Derby and winning the title with them and they are now trying to sign him permanently. N/A

Maksim Paskotsi

The 19-year-old Estonia international made his competitive debut for Spurs in the final minutes at Pacos de Ferreira, replacing Carter-Vickers. It was a big moment for the teenager and he made the bench in the Morecambe FA Cup game and the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea under Conte. N/A

Sergio Reguilon

A mixed second season from the Spaniard, who struggled to adapt his role under Conte. He admitted he has to learn how to play as a wing-back and looks to have been overtaken by Sessegnon as Conte’s main man in the role. Two goals and three assists is not awful from 31 appearances but he’s got the technical abilities to be much better than he has been if his decision-making improves and his defending has not matched some of the other full-backs. The fee for his 2020 move is understood to be due this summer and Tottenham are expected to be open to offers for him. 6

Ryan Sessegnon

Twenty-one appearances for the young wide man and the wing-back role has suited him naturally. Conte has high hopes for the 22-year-old, who he believes can be an important player for both Spurs and England. He was starting to really push on with six consecutive starts and good displays against Manchester City, Leeds and Everton before picking up another hamstring problem, albeit in a different one of the three muscles, in the latter game. He recovered though and started the final six matches of the season with a fine performance against Liverpool in particular to keep Mohamed Salah quiet once again this season. Pre-season will be huge for him this summer and needs to get past these hamstring problems and not let them define him. 6.5

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

At first the Dane picked up where he left off at the Euros with some excellent all-round displays for Spurs in the engine room in the early games. However, some of his displays in the middle part of the season dipped – perhaps through being overplayed – and his passing ranged wildly from incisive to poor. Then Bentancur arrived alongside him and so Hojbjerg’s displays picked up with some big performances in big matches during the run-in. He played the second most amount of minutes in the squad, with 3,986, and he got three goals and four assists to his name. Less consistent than last season but still a major part of Conte’s team that finished fourth. 8

Oliver Skipp

Returned from winning the Championship title with Norwich and worked his way straight into Spurs’ starting line-up. The 21-year-old had a breakthrough season in a Spurs shirt with 28 appearances in the anchor man role and Espirito Santo and Conte love him. He wins the ball back and quickly gets Tottenham on the attack. However, his painful pubis problem frustrated him and the Italian and ended his season very prematurely in January. That should not detract though from how big a campaign this was in his development as a Premier League player. Signed a new-long term until 2027 last month and the club and Conte have very high hopes for him. 7.5

Dele Alli

The 25-year-old started off well in a new role by Espirito Santo in the midfield three and he worked hard to try to impress, scoring twice with one assist, but his performances dipped and he never found his way back under the Portuguese or Conte before leaving permanently for Everton. 4.5

Harry Winks

Conte likes Winks and calls him a player he can count on, and he managed one goal and two assists this season from his 30 appearances. Despite a run of starts to kick off 2022 though, the 25-year-old was third choice in the central midfield slots in the second half of the season and probably finds himself fourth choice when Skipp returns. It’s been a better campaign than last for him and he has put in a few good performances but he has struggled in some other games. Likely to move on for regular football this summer. 6

Nile John

The talented 19-year-old midfielder got 45 minutes against Pacos and would later head off on an ultimately pointless loan to Charlton that brought no first team minutes. N/A

Tanguy Ndombele

Wanted to leave last summer and didn’t appear on the pitch until September. He refocused and showed some flashes of what he can do, scoring good goals against both Wolves and Newcastle, but ultimately he never impressed Conte. A move back to Lyon on loan duly followed in January but his old club do not seem to want to keep him either. A real crossroads moment in his career this summer. 5

Tottenham are set to sign Cristian Romero and Dejan Kulusevski permanently (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

(Image: (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images))

Rodrigo Bentancur

An excellent introduction to Premier League life and he’s taken to the English game and Spurs with aplomb. He’s brought a calming presence to the midfield, pushed on Hojbjerg and his team-mates trust him with the ball in tight situations. The three-time Serie A winner is just 24 and frighteningly for opponents he will only get better as he continues to adapt to life in a new league. 9

Giovani Lo Celso

The Argentine never found his rhythm, not helped by that isolation period after the first international break and then a knee injury. One goal and two assist for Spurs but, like Ndombele, Conte never seemed to take to him and he was off in January to Villarreal on loan which brought more success for him as he helped them to the Champions League semi-finals. They and others in Spain want him this summer. 4

Bryan Gil

The 21-year-old summer signing from Sevilla never really got much of a chance to settle in. He showed glimpses of what he can do but was soon made an example by Conte of Spurs’ recruitment process failing to spot which players were ready for the Premier League, which was then backed up by Kulusevski’s quick adaptation. Gil went on loan at Valencia, with mixed results, and Tottenham will decide what to do next with him this summer. 5

Lucas Moura

A difficult start to the Premier League season with no goals or assists until November but after Conte’s arrival he recorded two goals and three assists in the Italian’s first six league games. He ended the campaign with six goals and eight assists in all competitions, but lost his place to Kulusevski and only started two league matches from mid-February onwards. 7

J’Neil Bennett

Just nine minutes to his name but a big moment for the young winger when he came off the bench in Portugal. Went to Crewe Alexandra on loan before returning in January with an ankle injury. N/A

Dejan Kulusevski

A breath-taking start to life at Tottenham, with five goals and eight assists in 18 Premier League matches and some memorable goals in the big matches. Just 22-years-old but he looks completely at home in England and Conte’s front three looks so much more balanced with him in the team with Kane and Son profiting. Another who will only get better with another season on loan before a permanent move. 9

Dilan Markanday

Made his debut in the away game at Vitesse in the Europa Conference League, creating history as the first ever British Asian – as well as the first player of Indian descent – to play in a competitive game for Spurs’ men’s first team. He was superb for the development squad in the previous 12 months and more than deserved the opportunity, but now he is a Blackburn player and suffered a bad injury within days of joining. N/A

Steven Bergwijn

Four goals and three assists for the Dutchman who started the season well and his match-winning dramatic display at Leicester will go down as one of the best moments of Spurs’ season. On a personal level his goal to send the Netherlands to the World Cup was a big occasion for him. Injuries interrupted the first half of his season, but Conte wanted to keep him amid interest from Ajax in January. Kulusevski’s impact has caused him problems with game time and Lucas was getting on ahead of him from the bench. Likely to want to leave this summer for regular game time. 6.5

Jack Clarke

The former Leeds winger got 45 minutes to his name after coming off the bench for the second half in Portugal. Left o…

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