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Antonio Conte likes ‘nasty’ edge that Richarlison offers to Tottenham

Richarlison joined Tottenham from Everton earlier this summer. (Steve Welsh/PA)
Richarlison joined Tottenham from Everton earlier this summer. (Steve Welsh/PA)

Antonio Conte is a fan of the “nasty” streak that Richarlison has brought to Tottenham.

The Brazil international moved to north London from Everton this summer for a reported initial fee of £50million.

He was suspended for Tottenham’s first game of the season but made a difference as he made his debut off the bench at Chelsea on Sunday as the visitors scored a last-gasp equaliser in a fiery 2-2 draw.

Speaking earlier this year, Conte said that “a strong team has to become nasty” adding that “you have to feel the blood of your opponent”.

Tottenham boss Conte has previously spoken about wanting his teams to be
Tottenham boss Conte has previously spoken about wanting his teams to be “nasty”. (Steve Welsh/PA)

The Italian showed his own ill-tempered side as he clashed with Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel during and after the draw at Stamford Bridge.

Both managers were hit with Football Association charges as a result, but Conte clearly sees something in Richarlison that pleases him.

“For sure Richy is a player that made us focssed, nasty. He’s a player I like,” he said of the 25-year-old.

“He’s always fully into the training session with his mind. For us I think this is a good sign.”

Richarlison can operate on the wing as well as in a traditional striker’s role and he came on alongside Harry Kane at Chelsea as the England captain headed in the late leveller.

Conte wants to keep his options open in attack, especially when it comes to getting as many goalscorers on the pitch as possible.

“We are working also on the tactical aspect because the season will be long and there are many games that we have to play also with four strikers,” he added.

“In the end at Chelsea, we played with Lucas Moura as wing-back, Ivan Perisic – we are talking about someone in the past (who was) a striker – Richarlison, (Dejan) Kulusevski, Son (Heung-min).

“But to do this, it’s important to have organisation in the tactical aspect.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have been the Tottenham talismen in recent years.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have been the Tottenham talismen in recent years. (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“The problem could be for the others (the opposition) when you have the ball, but without the ball also we must not lose the balance.

“The second goal we conceded against Chelsea, I think that we lost a bit of balance.

“We have to try to improve because for me to play with four strikers can become a good option during the game and to start some games.

“The most important thing is that the four strikers want to run and to make sacrifices without the ball. This is very important.

“But I have players with good stamina, with good quality and we are working also on this aspect.”