Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville says he can see Dejan Kulusevski becoming a “£80m to £100m player” after his match-winning performance against Nottingham Forest.

The Sweden international scored one and assisted another as Tottenham came away from the City Ground with a hard-fought 2-0 victory on Friday Night Football.

Kulusevski has featured on the right and through the middle for Spurs and played in the No 10 role during his star turn in Nottingham.

Neville identified qualities in the forward that could increase his price tag in the coming years, telling Sky Sports: “Players that play in that role, that take it on the back foot and accept it on the back foot, the attacking midfielders, the No 10s, any player of that ilk, they’re very rare to be able to do that.

“What we’ve seen in the last few weeks is him playing that role and become one of the rare players.

“You’re talking about him going from a player who might be £50m on the right to being something that if he gets going in that No 10 position, can be really special and then you’re pushing it to an £80m or £100m player.

“It’s only potential at the moment and there’s a long way to go, but that’s what I see in him playing in that more central role. It’s really exciting. James Maddison will have to fight for that back!”

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Highlights from Nottingham Forest’s match against Tottenham in the Premier League

It is the central role that Kulusevski himself prefers too, telling Sky Sports:” That’s my position. Before I was a 10. I always played in the middle.

“Then in Palma, in the first season they put me right winger and that’s what I had to do, I had to change my position after that. But I’m ready to play every position because I did it all my life.

“I like to move a lot. I want to be free. All my life I played in all the positions in front, so it’s fun to change and move around.”

Kulusevski also praised Ange Postecoglou’s training sessions, and wants Tottenham to find the mentality that will see them compete with the top teams.

He added: “Training is so fun and I really like him as a guy. If I was to choose my football, this is the football. Attack, combine a lot, very fun training sessions and aim high always. We don’t play to lose but we play to win.

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Dejan Kulusevski doubles Spurs’ lead after a howler from Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Matt Turner

“[In training, there are] a lot of games, a lot of competition, a lot with the ball. Then to get stronger mentally. Today going out with a red card and don’t take a goal for 25 minutes in this tough ground, we are going to get bigger from this.

“We are very positive. We want to get better every day. We still lack something mentally but footbally I think we are there at the top.”

Neville: Spurs playing the best football I’ve seen since retirement

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Ange Postecoglou reacted to Tottenham’s 2-0 win against Nottingham Forest and was particularly pleased with how calm and composed his players were in front of a hostile crowd at the City Ground

While Tottenham’s performance against Nottingham Forest was far from their best, they have caught they eye with an exciting brand of football under Ange Postecoglou.

It has been an immediate impact from the Australian, which has taken many by surprise. Neville praised Postecoglou’s ability to implement his ideas so quickly, with Neville enjoying Spurs’ games this season.

The pundit told Sky Sports: “We see managers sometimes say they need time to build a style at a club, or they need time to get used to the players.

“What he [Postecoglou] has done in a short period of time is staggering because he’s not only implemented what would be the idea of a play, but he’s put something in place that is breathtaking to watch. It is actually quite complex from a football point of view.

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Richarlison heads Spurs in front just before half time against Nottingham Forest

“To get players into positions and to get them working like clockwork can take managers months and 40 or 50 matches, two to three seasons. Even Pep Guardiola at Manchester City in those first few seasons, it took him a while to get exactly what he wanted across.

“But for Ange Postecoglou, the way they’re playing, he is amazing. If you’re Manchester City, losing Guardiola in a year or two, you’ll be looking at Postecoglou thinking ‘that’s exactly what we want to see’.

“But Spurs have got to enjoy this because it’s brilliant to watch. They might not even finish in the top four, but what they can do is enjoy one of the best brands of football I’ve seen in 10 years since I finished playing football.

“I love watching Tottenham play and that hasn’t always been the case in the last few years.

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Yves Bissouma is sent off for Tottenham after a VAR check

“They make lots of runs in behind you, they commit you but they give you a chance at the other end. If you’ve got real quality at the other end, it makes for a really exciting game.

“The one thing he does have to control is a discipline problem. They make some reckless challenges at times, they’re mad at times, and they don’t need to be.

“There’s only a few players in the team who has real composure, and that’s Ben Davies and Heung-Min Son. The rest of them have all got a little bit of something in them that you think: ‘what are they doing?’”

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