Whelan: Doherty could have exploded at Tottenham under Conte and this is why
Noel Whelan claims Antonio Conte could have jump-started Matt Doherty’s stalling career if he was appointed as Tottenham boss.
The former Leeds hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claims the Italian’s defensive system suits Doherty’s style.
Football Insider reported on June 3 that the club were increasingly confident of appointing Conte as their new manager after holding key talks.
However, BBC Sport reported the day after Spurs had pulled the plug on further discussions amid doubts over the transfer budget.
Doherty, 29, signed for the club in the summer of 2020 but his first season was underwhelming.
The defender only started 13 Premier League games for Spurs during a turbulent season for the club.
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Conte famously utilises a back three and makes good use of attacking wing backs.
This is a role Doherty succeeded in at Wolves and he also played as a centre back in a defensive three while at Molineux.
When asked if Doherty could thrive under Conte, Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, “Yeah, possibly.
“Three at the back is great and can work in many ways. But you need the right personnel to play the roles.
“When you play that system, your wingbacks are absolutely vital.
“Have Spurs full-backs done enough this season? Serge Aurier? Doherty? No. No they have not.
“There’s no doubt, if you’re going to play a three, that brings your wing backs into play.
“They have to be faster than they were last season. That could bring out the best in Doherty.
“Conte would have assessed what he had in pre-season. if it wasn’t going to work he could have dipped into the market because he won’t accept players like that.”