In Focus: Reguilon set to Serg forward under Conte

Mitchell Fretton
Sergio Reguilon scored his first goal for Tottenham on Sunday
Sergio Reguilon scored his first goal for Tottenham on Sunday

It took more than a year but Sergio Reguilon finally scored his first Premier League goal for Tottenham last Sunday.

The Spaniard has been a regular feature in the side but may find himself in a more advanced role under new manager Antonio Conte.

With his pace and energy levels, Reguilon has already started to thrive as a wing-back at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Ahead of tonight's Europa Conference League clash with Mura, we take a look at the 24-year-old defender's increasing presence and his importance to Conte's high-pressing system.

Freedom in attack

A modern full-back must be capable of attacking the opposition as well as defending against them — Reguilon fits the mould and can become an effective outlet for Spurs this season.

When in possession, the former Real Madrid ace likes to overlap the midfield and burst into the opposition half.

Reguilon, who opened his goalscoring account in the 2-1 win over Leeds, provides an extra option in attack and delivers plenty of crosses in towards Harry Kane.

The Spain international has provided two assists this season and both have come from low crosses into the box.

He had a similar impact last season and linked up well with Gareth Bale on the opposite flank.

Under a coach like Conte, the speedster will be hoping to have an impact in the final third similar to that of Marcos Alonso.

The Italian brought the best out of his wing-backs at Chelsea and will be looking to transform Reguilon's fortunes when the North London club are on the attack.

Sergio Reguilon has spent a large amount of time in the opposition half this season
Sergio Reguilon has spent a large amount of time in the opposition half this season

Defensive responsibility

As a wing-back in Conte's system, Reguilon must ensure he can get up and down the left channel for the entire 90 minutes.

The Madrid-born star's powers in the attacking third are clear to see but his defensive duties are just as key when helping the team.

Reguilon has faced some criticism for his ability at the back during his time at Spurs — he often leaves himself exposed on the counter-attack and cannot recover the ball.

Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has previously criticised the defender, stating Reguilon struggles to deal with Premier League attackers.

The pundit said: "Reguilon is good going forward but with him, you’ve got the same argument you have with Trent Alexander-Arnold and England.

"He’s a very good player but with those centre-halves next to him you can’t be so poor defensively."

Reguilon has featured 11 times in a Spurs side that have kept just four clean sheets in the Premier League this season but his defensive statistics suggest he has made an impact in London.

Tottenham's No3 ranks in the division's top five for successful interceptions — allowing his team to counter effectively.

Sergio Reguilon has some impressive statistics this season
Sergio Reguilon has some impressive statistics this season

Working under Conte

During the reign of Nuno Espirito Santo, Spurs appeared sluggish on the pitch — the Lilywhites had covered the least ground in the Premier League at the time of the Portuguese's sacking.

But under Conte, Spurs are already showing improvement on the fitness front.

In their 2-1 win over Leeds on Sunday, Spurs covered more ground (112km) than the visitors (108km) — they are only the second team to outrun Marcelo Bielsa's team this season.

The improved fitness of the players can be put down to Conte's infamous double training sessions and increased intensity at Hotspur Way.

Reguilon has been just one of the beneficiaries in recent weeks and his improved stamina allowed him to score the winner in North London at the weekend.

Speaking after the game, the six-cap international said: "We are working a lot, the last weeks, the international break, was one of the worst weeks of my life.

"I have to arrive, arrive, arrive and also defend, now I’m dead, but I’m so happy.

"[Conte’s] a fanatic of football he always speaks about football in training, before training, after training."

Onwards and upwards

Sergio Reguilon is pushing to make the Spain squad for next year's World Cup
Sergio Reguilon is pushing to make the Spain squad for next year's World Cup

Reguilon has been subject to plenty of talk in the media over recent weeks.

The Spurs star has been focused on his football as he attempts to push his way into the Spain squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Reguilon has only played in one qualifier for his country but was included in the squad that were runners-up in the Nations League in October.

Should the young prospect continue to improve under his new manager, he could look to challenge Jordi Alba and Alonso for the left-back position in the Spanish national team.

Ryan Sessegnon's return from injury may also provide some welcome competition for a man who has never struggled for his spot in the Spurs XI.


Premier LeagueTottenham HotspurSergio Reguilon

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