Sergio Reguilon has admitted he never played as a wing-back before Antonio Conte’s arrival and spoke with the Italian coach about making that transition.
Conte has sought to change the dynamic of Tottenham since his arrival in November, ditching the club’s previous back four for alterations of the 3-4-3 formation.
Reguilon, who arrived at Spurs a year prior to the 52-year-old, has been one of the main players affected by the change, with a new expectation on his shoulders to assist and score with regularity.
And despite having the pace to bomb up and down the flank, the Spaniard has revealed he had never plied his trade as a wing-back before Conte took charge of Spurs.
He said (via Football.London): “I had never played at left-wing back in my life, ever.
“Antonio knew that, and we spoke about it because I had always played left-back and, in that position, a lot of movements, plays in the game, you don’t control.
“After games though, playing and training, l built a concept in my head of what I need to do in that role but, as always, this is a process.
“I didn’t know everything about football before moving into that position and it is not a case of say, in two weeks of playing in the role, you know everything about playing wing-back. But now, not only me, but the whole squad has improved under Antonio.”
Reguilon also explained that the transition into the role has not been a simple one and he has had to slow himself down to see better results.
He added: “Sometimes I have to control my efforts, because, when we have a counter-attack, I want to arrive in the other box as much as possible, but you also have to factor in that I begin in my own box and have to sprint 80 metres…I then have to get back as well
“After a game, I would see I’d run 11 kilometres and one of those would be at full speed. From there l understood what I needed to do. If l was doing those sort of runs constantly.
“I would arrive at the 80 minute-mark exhausted. If l did it every game, maybe I would have to stop playing each season in February!”
Reguilon does boast all the traits to become a solid wing-back and we have seen how effective he can be in that role. He is still a little bit raw at times which causes him to be a bit wasteful in good areas, plus his injuries have set him back, but in time he should flourish.