Thursday, March 30, 2023

Tottenham Hotspur Defender Exits On A Shock Loan To Atletico Madrid: Did Conte Do The Right Thing?

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Ankit Seth
Ankit is a 24-year-old, aspiring to have his voice heard through what he writes. Charismatic and frankly moral, adhering to his principles and beliefs. Out to search for a purpose in life and yet to settle on that matter.

According to a recent report from Football.London, it was stated that Tottenham Hotspur have sent Matt Doherty on loan to Atletico Madrid for the remaining season following Pedro Porro’s arrival at North London. It comes as a shock for the Irish defender as he has done well to provide cover on the right flank whereas Emerson Royal has struggled to be productive.

Doherty’s Campaign With Tottenham Hotspur This Season

Doherty has had a decent campaign as he has done well to offer cover as a right-wing back in the defensive third of the field. The Irish defender has managed to find the back of the net on one occasion after making 14 appearances for Spurs this season.

The Swords-born talent mostly came off the bench to replace Royal which explains why he is only averaging 0.8 shots, 0.5 key passes, 1.3 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 1.1 clearances in the Premier League so far. However, he has been tidy with his ball distribution after completing 82.4% of his attempted passes in the English top flight (stats via whoscored).

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Did Conte Do The Right Thing In Loaning Him Out?

Doherty is a solid player at the backline; he can clear his lines when he senses danger from the opposition and has the ability to make some crucial interceptions to win the ball back for his side. He can make a few decent runs down the right flank to stretch the opposition’s defence. Furthermore, he excels at dominating his opponents in the air standing at 1.85 meters.

The 31-year-old still has what it takes to perform at a high level and was a decent option coming off the bench for the Lilywhites, however, with Porro’s arrival, Antonio Conte had to off-load a player to make space in the defensive third. Ivan Perisic and Ryan Sessegnon have done well to handle the pressure on the opposite flank, so Royal could take a spot on the bench looking to improve on his form which would offer Porro enough game time to adapt to the Premier League and make an impact.

Porro’s arrival meant that Doherty’s minutes would be further limited, so a move away from North London was the only viable option for Conte. The Irish wing-back would have enough game time at Atletico Madrid for the remainder of the season, so Conte has done well to send him out on loan.

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