(Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte said he had doubts that fielding three strikers in Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Richarlison could disrupt the Premier League club’s balance but was happy to be proven wrong by the trio’s selflessness.
Kane, Son and Richarlison have scored a combined 16 goals across all competitions this season for Spurs, who are third in the league on 20 points after nine matches, four points off leaders Arsenal.
Conte, who has picked the three forwards in six of Spurs’ last eight games, said their contributions in front of goal were valuable but also highlighted their willingness to help out defensively.
“I think when we play with three strikers, you have to know that your type of game is more direct. Not with a lot of possession because you have three strikers, only two midfielders,” Conte told reporters ahead of Spurs’ league game at home to Everton.
“Honestly, at the start, I had some doubts about the balance to put three strikers like Richy, Harry and Sonny, because you know very well you have to attack, but at the same time it’s important to have a good balance if you want to be competitive.
“When it happened, I had always a great answer … because we are talking about three strikers, but three strikers who work a lot for the team. They give us a lot of potential offensively, but at the same time, defensively, we have a good balance.”
Spurs have won all their four home games this season and will be hoping to maintain their record when they host Everton, who are 12th on 10 points.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)