De Zerbi happy to have selection headaches

Italian weighs up his options ahead of today's trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

By Bruce Talbot • 08 April 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi says he has plenty of options as he prepares for today's game against Spurs.

Roberto De Zerbi is happy to have selection dilemmas in key areas of his team as we prepare for today’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.

The head coach made two changes to the side which drew 3-3 against Brentford a week ago for Tuesday’s game at Bournemouth, restoring Evan Ferguson up front and bringing Adam Webster into central defence.

He was rewarded with a goal by Ferguson and a clean sheet as Albion won 2-0 to stay sixth as they prepare to face a Tottenham team a place and four points better off, having played two more games.

Asked who might get a start today, De Zerbi said, "You will see one hour before the game! I have not decided yet; I have some doubt but it’s not a big problem.

“I think Adam Webster in the Bournemouth game was one of the best players on the pitch with personality. I know the quality of Adam, but I know the quality of Levi too. Levi is a left-footer and it is an important quality for us because with Levi we can find different line passes, different solutions in build-up, in the last 40 metres of the pitch.”


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De Zerbi's Tottenham Hotspur press conference

As for his options up front, De Zerbi did point out one potential solution. “I think they [Welbeck and Ferguson] can play together,” he said. “They have different characteristics, different qualities. Step by step I will decide who in my head can be better.”

Another player looking to get another opportunity today is Julio Enciso, after the 19-year-old midfielder scored his first goal for the club against Bournemouth. De Zerbi says there has been a positive change in Enciso since he came back from the international break having played for Paraguay.

“I think the last time he played for the national team was very important for him,” said the Italian. “I didn't speak with the Paraguay coach but I think it was a very important step for him.

“Now he is different in the training sessions and in games, not only for the goal but the way he played against Bournemouth. I think it was different from his other experiences on the pitch before.”