Antonio Conte has revealed summer signing Yves Bissouma is struggling to adapt to Tottenham's tactics.
Bissouma joined in the summer after an impressive spell at Brighton but has only started one match this season, that being the 1-1 draw at West Ham.
Conte has chiefly employed a central midfield partnership of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur, who combined so well when Spurs secured Champions League football in the second half of last season. Oliver Skipp is also in the mix again after returning from another injury setback.
Conte said: "The only player that is struggling a bit with the tactical aspect is Bissouma, but also he is improving a lot in every aspect.
“I am sure when we start again and play 12 games, for sure he is another player I can count on but I try to take the best decision for the player because I want to protect the player.”
He added: “With the ball, he’s really good, defensively he has to pay more attention. More attention because especially we only have two midfielders and then they have to be good with the ball and without the ball, but I’m really happy with his signing.
“We need only a bit of time to work with [Bissouma], for him to understand and to understand well.
“Now we have two reliable and important players in Hojbjerg, who for me, he made important progress and now I think he’s a really strong player. The same for Bentancur. Don’t forget Skippy, who is really young.”
Tottenham lost their unbeaten record when they were beaten by Sporting CP 2-0 on Tuesday night. They are next in action on Saturday, when they host Leicester.