Dejan Kulusevski reveals why he's had 'sleepless nights' this season

Sean Walsh
Kulusevski's back
Kulusevski's back / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Dejan Kulusevski has spoken of his relief after making his return from a hamstring injury in Tottenham's 2-1 loss to Liverpool on Sunday, insisting his recovery has not been straightforward.

The Juventus loanee, who will almost certainly join Spurs permanently by next summer, had been out of action since September after picking up a hamstring injury on international duty with Sweden.

Kulusevski came off the bench for the final 25 minutes of Tottenham's defeat to Liverpool, though grabbed an assist for Harry Kane little over a minute after stepping onto the pitch.

Speaking post-match, Kulusevski revealed he's happy to be playing again, though suggested the setback he suffered midway through his recovery may have been self-inflicted.

"I missed it a lot. Now I can sleep. I can be happy at least that I'm back as I love to play and love to play for this club. Bad result but finally I'm back," he said.

When pressed over whether he's had sleepless nights, Kulusevski replied: "Yeah. It's hard at this age, especially me, as I'm very hard to accept that I'm injured because you always think you are a machine. It's always tough but you just have to accept it and do the small things.

"It was a small [injury problem] and then you're like 'OK, maybe we can do it a little bit faster and try to rush it' and then it hits back on you. I definitely need to learn, I need to learn a lot but I'm happy for the experience."

Kulusevski's absence has coincided with Spurs' difficult run of form in the last couple of months, with Antonio Conte's side struggling to start games and failing to live up to their free-scoring heights of last term.

The 22-year-old was given loud standing ovations both as he went to warm up for the first time before later being introduced for Ryan Sessegnon, and spoke of his mutual love for Tottenham fans.

"I love the club, I love the stadium, I love the fans. I'm so happy that we have a lot of time left this season and I want to bring a lot of joy," he said.

"Second half was good, second half was very good. The problem is we have to play like this for 90 minutes. It's the difference. If we start playing like this for 90 minutes we are going to win most of the games, so we have to especially improve in the first half."