Tottenham Hotspur forward Richarlison has vented his frustration towards manager Antonio Conte over his lack of regular game time.
After starting in both the victories against West Ham United and Chelsea, Richarlison was dropped to the bench for the last three games, including last night’s Champions League encounter against AC Milan.
Baffled by the decision, the Brazilian forward has taken a dig at Conte while labelling the current season disappointing.
Speaking after the UCL elimination, Richarlison told TNT Sports Brazil (h/t the Daily Mail): “That’s what I didn’t understand, too (being a substitute). It was going well, in a good sequence – two wins against West Ham and Chelsea.
“Suddenly, he put me on the bench. Against Wolverhampton (Wanderers), he put me on for five minutes. I asked why? They didn’t tell me anything.
“And, yesterday, they asked me to take a test at the gym, that if I was good I would go to the game and, at the time of the game, they left me on the bench. These are things that it is not possible to understand.
“Let’s see what he (Conte) will say tomorrow, but there are no fools here either – I’m a professional, I work every day and I want to play. There are minutes left, time left.”
It has been a disappointing campaign so far for Richarlison since his big-money move from Everton in the summer, having struggled with injury problems.
He has failed to convince Conte over a regular role, having started only seven games out of 18 in the Premier League.
The former Toffees star has Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski above him in the pecking order, and it remains to be seen whether Conte will make changes after the Champions League setback.
Richarlison’s presence will be crucial to the Lilywhites to finish in the top four this season.
It won’t be an easy task as the race for the final Champions League spot is wide open, with Liverpool, Newcastle United, Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion involved.
- Man Utd, Chelsea and PSG interested in signing €50m midfielder
- Barcelona to negotiate with Atletico Madrid over transfer fee of Yannick Carrasco
- Barcelona interested in Malo Gusto before Chelsea transfer as right-back search continues
- Roma join race for Barcelona target Evan Ndicka
- Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Brighton want Oxlade-Chamberlain