Thursday Jan 19, 2023. 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte found the silver lining in his team’s North London derby defeat last weekend: the performance of Senegalese youngster Pape Matar Sarr.
Formerly on the books of Metz, the 20-year-old midfielder made his full Premier League debut in Spurs’ 2-0 home loss against Arsenal, becoming the first player since Ryan Mason in 2014 to do so in the North London derby.
“He [Sarr] showed great personality, he played a good game and in my opinion he showed to be an older player,” Conte told SPURSPLAY, as quoted by Tribal Football.
“This is very important. We are talking about a player who is only 20 years old but he deserved to have this chance.
“Yves Bissouma in the last game, if you remember, in the FA Cup, at the end (of the warm-up), he stopped himself over a problem in his ankle. This week he struggled with his ankle, so the choice was between Pape Sarr and Oliver Skipp.
“Against Crystal Palace I decided for Skippy, today I decided for Pape Sarr, but both players, we can count on them.
“Then, you know, we are talking about young players – we have to work, to develop and then they will be ready.”
Sarr will hope to feature for Spurs again when they face Manchester City in a catch-up match on Thursday evening, followed by another London derby when they tackle Fulham at Craven Cottage on Monday 23 January.