Conte likely to provide plenty of chances for Son

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Conte likely to provide plenty of chances for Son

Son Heung-min [EPA/YONHAP]

Son Heung-min [EPA/YONHAP]

 
With Antonio Conte confirmed as the new Tottenham Hotspur manager on Tuesday, the question now is how he'll use the current lineup and what acquisitions he'll be looking to make. For Korean striker Son Heung-min, arguably the stand out player during the Nuno Esperito Santo era, the future looks bright under the new Italian boss.
 
Tottenham confirmed Tuesday that Conte had signed on as the new manager on a £15 million-a-year contract to June 2023. Speaking after the deal was announced, the new manager was optimistic about the team's future.
 
“I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again,” said Conte. “Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.
 
“I can’t wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach."
 
Conte's opportunity came after Nuno Esperito Santo was sacked by the club after just 17 games on Monday.
 
In a statement posted on the club's website on Monday, Spurs announced that Nuno, along with coaching staff Ian Cathro, Rui Barbosa and Antonio Dias, had been "relieved of their duties." No further information on who will take over management of the club was provided at the time.
 
Nuno was appointed as Spurs manager at the end of June after the mid-season firing of Jose Mourinho in April and failed overtures to former manager Mauricio Pochettino, Conte and former Roma manager Paulo Fonseca.
 
The Portuguese manager got off to a fast start with Spurs, winning his first three Premier League games and being named August manager of the month.  
 
But things started to slide quickly, with Tottenham now sitting in 10th place with five wins and five losses on the season. The London club have gone two hours and 16 minutes without a Premier League shot on target, with the situation culminating in a big 3-0 loss at home to Manchester United over the weekend, during which Nuno was booed by Spurs fans.
 
Son scored four goals and picked up one assist during Nuno's tenure, but that was as much to do with his own raw skill than anything the Portuguese manager brought to the table. In reality, Nuno's time in charge was undermined before it even began by the fact that he was very publicly the front office's last pick to take the helm.
 
Conte doesn't have that problem. He arrives in the new role with the authority of a man who has had a top Premier League club waiting for him to call them back for the last six months. He will be looking to make changes and won't struggle to get the players to buy into them.
 
For Son this is bound to be a good thing. The Korean striker benefited hugely from a constructive partnership with Harry Kane last season that has completely disappeared in the last few months. Conte's first job will likely be to piece that back together, and his arrival will hopefully also serve to motivate the English striker.
 
At the top of this game and with a new five-year contract signed over the summer, Son is any manager's dream. Conte certainly has the experience to recognize that, so their partnership could prove very fruitful.

BY JIM BULLEY [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]
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