Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Football London
Football London
Alasdair Gold

Pape Matar Sarr and the five returning Tottenham players looking to force Antonio Conte's hand

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte will have a decision to make on the future of the players returning to the north London club this summer after their loan spells.

Spurs have sent plenty of players, some young and some more experienced, out of the club this season in order to either get them more first team experience, increase their value or to develop them ahead of a planned future in N17. Those who want to stay at Tottenham will start pre-season next month with a fresh slate, but only a few will get to remain at the club by the time the summer transfer window ends.

Conte will need a bigger squad for the coming campaign as the Lilywhites have Champions League football on the menu as well as the Italian wanting to push higher in the Premier League and lift silverware in the domestic competitions, so some players may get unexpected opportunities.

READ MORE: Yves Bissouma, Eriksen, Hojbjerg, Pape Matar Sarr and what happens now in Spurs' midfield

If we accept that both of the club's most expensive signings Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso will be leaving Spurs this summer after ending their loan spells and Cameron Carter-Vickers has now joined Celtic permanently, here are five Tottenham players returning from loan that we reckon will be looking to catch Conte's eye.

Pape Matar Sarr

This summer Conte will take a proper look at the teenage Senegal international who signed for Tottenham a year ago and will now finally walk through the doors at Hotspur Way. The 19-year-old midfielder spent last season back on loan at Metz and it was a tough campaign for the team but an important one for his development as he played 34 times and started the majority of the matches.

Sarr tasted Africa Cup of Nations glory with Senegal and his performances in the latter weeks of the French campaign helped Metz push their survival fate to the final day of the season but that last match was at PSG and even the talented teenager could not prevent the Ligue 1 club from relegation.

Sarr will arrive at Tottenham hardened by a tough season but he will face a very different competition in the shape of the Premier League. This pre-season will give Conte a good chance to look at the teenager and decide whether, despite high hopes for his future, he is ready for Spurs just yet.

At 6ft tall, the teenager has the frame for the English game but he will need to bulk up for the physical demands of the competition and Conte's fitness staff will help begin that process before a decision is made on whether Sarr heads out on loan again now, in January or spends the season adapting under the Italian.

Troy Parrott

The 20-year-old Republic of Ireland international has had a big year of development on loan at MK Dons, admitting himself that everything clicked midway through the season as he began to understand what was required to push on and the young Tottenham forward also benefited from having his family move over to stay with him following the pandemic. reported last week that Parrott's own plan is to spend another season out on loan before returning to really challenge for a place in the first team squad at Spurs in the 2023/24 season. The youngster is understood to be desperate to make his mark at the club that brought him over to England in 2017.

That plan is shared by Tottenham and while he may get a chance to finally impress Conte in pre-season and could head out on the club's tour to Korea, the intention is to pick the perfect loan move to continue his progression with plenty of game time as a number nine.

A long line of Championship clubs are believed to be interested in taking him, including Swansea, Middlesbrough, Preston and QPR. Parrott's current deal with Spurs runs until the summer of 2023 but understands there is an option within that contract for the club to extend it by a further year.

The likelihood for Parrott is another loan but he's got every chance to impress Conte this summer as Spurs might just need another young striker to call upon with 18-year-old Dane Scarlett likely to get his first loan away from the club.

Bryan Gil

Bryan Gill will be returning from loan with a point to prove as he will take part in pre-season training with Conte's opinion on his signing still ringing in his ears.

"You know that I like to tell the truth and for sure we’re talking about a really good player in Gil, because he has good quality and he understands football quickly," Conte told after Gil left for Valencia on loan. "In this moment, for sure this league is very tough. This league is different. If you compare this league with other leagues, you play another sport here. For this reason when you go to sign a new player, you have to consider many aspects. Not only one aspect, if he shoots well or makes an assist, you have to consider a lot of situations because this league is very difficult.

"You can be good with quality. You can be a creative player, but at the same time you have to be strong physically. You have to run a lot, to be resilient. The impact of this league is not simple. It's not simple. For this reason, the market, before signing a player, you have to check many aspects and not going on emotional things."

Gil needs to show that he can handle Conte's physical demands this summer, otherwise a move out of the club, whether it's on loan or permanently, is likely to happen despite having only arrived 12 months ago.

Jack Clarke

Sunderland are believed to be keen to get Jack Clarke back again for their return to Championship football but Spurs might just hold on a bit to see what options they have and to give Conte one potentially last look at the winger.

The 21-year-old impressed at Sunderland, playing 20 times for the Black Cats, scoring once and laying on four assists, including a crucial one in the late stages of the play-off semi-final second leg against Sheffield Wednesday.

Conte got to see a little bit of Clarke in the two months after he arrived in November, but the winger was mostly playing U23s football as a makeshift striker, whereas his loan at Sunderland as a winger, playing on either side, saw him back in his happy place on the pitch.

Another loan is likely, with a return to Sunderland making sense, but this could be Clarke's last chance to make an impression in a Spurs shirt.

Kion Etete

Kion Etete has gone under the radar among Spurs' young strikers but the 6ft 3in frontman might just catch Conte's eye next month, having been away from the club on two loans this season.

The 20-year-old developed as the season went on, first impressing in League Two with Northampton Town and then in League One with Cheltenham Town, stepping up the divisions with ease until an ankle injury fragmented the end to his season.

Etete is a big striker but he has quick, clever feet and plenty of skill. Conte likes a focal point striker and if Etete gets to spend some time with the Italian and potentially head out on the tour to Korea he might just impress the Spurs boss with his hold-up play and work up front.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.