By Noel Whelan

7th Dec, 2021 | 5:00pm

Conte gutted after source reveals 'the last thing he wants' at Tottenham - pundit

Antonio Conte will be “disappointed” about the unavailability of “crucial” Tottenham stars Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted having his wing-backs sidelined will be “the last thing” the 52-year-old wants in his early days as boss.

This site revealed today (7 December) that Tottenham have suffered a Covid-19 outbreak in their ranks with six star players among those affected.

Emerson missed last Sunday’s match due to illness and also unavailable is left wing-back Reguilon, with Conte confirming on Sunday (5 December) that he is suffering from muscle fatigue.

Whelan insisted Conte will be frustrated to lose his first-choice stars in “key” defensive positions.

“It’s a system he loves to play,” Whelan told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

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He loves having the wing-backs nice and high – they’re involved in everything Tottenham do going forward.

“Injuries and illness to such crucial players will be so disappointing for Conte. The last thing a new manager wants is to lose that continuity in his system. He’s still trying to implement it in these early days.

“Doherty really has to step up after we saw him put in a poor performance last time out in Europe. He could be on his last chance at Tottenham.”

Tottenham face three games in seven days starting with Rennes in the Europa Conference League on Thursday (9 December).

Conte’s side sit fifth in the Premier League.

In other news, 24-year-old is “100 per cent” planning to quit Tottenham in January after decision is made.