Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo does not think it is a risk to leave his big guns at home for the Europa Conference League trip to Vitesse Arnhem.
Nuno has confirmed that none of the outfield players who started last weekend’s 3-2 win at Newcastle will travel to Holland for Thursday night’s game, instead staying in London to train with Sunday’s trip to West Ham in mind.
It is a tactic Nuno has used before for the qualifying game with Pacos de Ferreira, where, although they lost 1-0 on the night, they won the following Premier League game against Wolves.
Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo confirms his main men will not travel to face Vitesse
The Premier League side are currently top of Group G in the Europa Conference League, having won one game against Mura most recently, and drawing the other with fellow group favourites Rennes.
However, with Spurs visiting West Ham in a tough London derby on Sunday, Nuno is keeping his main men in England to train and prepare for the Premier League crunch clash.
This means Kane, Son, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Lucas Moura, Cristian Romero, Emerson Royal, Sergio Reguilon, Tanguy Ndombele, Oliver Skipp and Eric Dier will be kept back at Spurs’ Enfield training base for Thursday’s game.
Nuno says he has weighed up all of his options and thinks this is the best course of action.
The 10 outfield players who played in Sunday’s win at Newcastle will not travel to Holland
Asked if it was a risk, he said: ‘No. It’s not about that. If someone gets that interpretation, I cannot do anything.
‘And when you decide to think about the risk, if you always think about the risk, you cannot decide. Decisions in life, all of them have risk.
‘So it’s about trying to analyse and see what is better for us in terms of our process during the week and for the future.
‘Next week we are going to have another game midweek. So we have to measure all these things. But what you are trying to say, if you allow me, is not right.
‘We respect all the competitions, we respect all the games. And we consider that it’s better for us to start the players that are going to start, leave some players here, work, recover well, so we can be able to compete better on the Sunday, and then we have Wednesday, and over and over again.
Nuno’s keeping his main stars at home in preparation for their trip to West Ham on Sunday
‘But I repeat myself with the way I started, if you think about risk, you’ll not decide.’
One of those players who will be starting is Steven Bergwijn, who has returned from a six-game injury absence.
The Holland international started the season well and Nuno says he is an important part of his plans.
‘Stevie started the season very, very well. Very, very well,’ Nuno said. ‘Unfortunately he got injured in the national team and since then he’s struggled again.
‘But now he’s getting back, like I said to you before, it’s about getting him fitter, stronger, faster because he’s a very talented player. Very talented player. Unique inside our squad.
‘He has things that can really help us. He’s fantastic in one v one, offensive, he’s fast, he gives us speed. We need Stevie. I repeat myself: we need Stevie.’
Bryan Gil (right) will likely start the match against Eredivisie side Vitesse in Holland
Dele Alli (left) is also set to be called upon for the Europa Conference League game
The winger is in his second full season in England and he admits people are yet to see the best of him.
‘I know I have more in house, but I started this season positively and well,’ Bergwijn said.
‘Last season was difficult for me, but this season started positively and then I got the injury but I kept the confidence from the staff here and you will see the best of me soon.’
Bergwijn, who left PSV Eindhoven in 2020, has an insight into Thursday’s opponents.
He added: ‘When I played in Holland, Vitesse were always difficult to play, especially at their stadium.
Nuno confirmed Steven Bergwijn, who has returned from a six-game injury absence, will start
‘They like to play football and they always have good players. It’s not going to be an easy game but we are Tottenham so we need to win and I think we have enough quality.’
Nuno also confirmed Matt Doherty and Ryan Sessegnon would not travel due to injury.
‘Matt’s improving,’ Nuno added. ‘Sess also but they’re not in the group yet. Next week, we’ll see if we have good news,’ he added.