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Destiny Udogie



Player in Training.

Saturday, October 14, 2023, could prove to be a momentous day in Destiny Udogie's career following his maiden Italy call-up. Outstanding for Ange Postecoglou's Tottenham since linking up with the team for the first time after his season on loan with Udinese last campaign, his place in Luciano Spalletti's Italy squad is richly deserved.

Udogie was perhaps extremely unlucky not to be included in the Azzurri squad for Spalletti's first games in charge in September following Roberto Mancini's resignation a month earlier. The attack-minded left-back gave the 64-year-old no option but to give him the nod for the latest international break, though, after flourishing in Postecoglou's high-flying Spurs side.

Udogie could have perhaps made the senior squad last campaign having wowed for Udinese, yet he instead had to settle for a spot with the Under-21s as Mancini looked elsewhere for his left-sided options. Now part of their plans for this month's Euro 2024 qualifiers, Malta are first up in Bari on Saturday evening before they travel to Wembley to take on England three days later.

That game against the Three Lions could potentially see Tottenham Italian pair Udogie and Guglielmo Vicario come against club teammate James Maddison, who after the win over Luton Town last weekend opened up on the influential duo.

“Vic is very composed. Nothing really fazes him. It was his birthday today. We didn’t know until the gaffer mentioned afterward," explained Spurs' No.10. “He’s a young man still to be fair, 27 is still young for a goalkeeper. But he has the composure of a 30-year-old and an experienced, senior Premier League player. So he’s been brilliant.

“Destiny is just a beast, man. He’s so good. When I talk about learning and adapting with the manager’s new style, him playing inside is not natural to him. He’s still working on that himself.

“He’s actually better on the ball and he can take the ball and dribble in the middle of the pitch and open it up for us. He’s got good receiving skills and he’s so powerful and so good."

It is no surprise that Udogie has come to the attention of Spalletti after making an incredible start to his Tottenham career. Foreign players usually need a period of adaption to get used to the pace and intensity of the Premier League but Udogie has taken to England's top flight with ease.

The Verona-born player already looks right at home and has delivered some devastating displays, just as Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski did after also making the move from Italy at the beginning of 2022. Udogie may be operating as a left-back for Postecoglou but it is in an attacking sense where he has really caught the eye. Given licence to push upfield due to the head coach's football philosophy, the Italian can often be found playing inside as Spurs' full-backs move into central areas and also in very attacking positions in the final third.

Udogie, who is also defensively sound, has two assists to his name from eight games so far this campaign and those numbers will only continue to grow due to his role in the side. It also won't be long at all until he opens his Tottenham goal account going on the positions he takes up.

Showcasing in Serie A just how good he is going forward, Postecoglou has taken the player's game to a whole new level. That, as a result, is benefitting Tottenham right now and it will also be the case in the years ahead.

The next target on Udogie's wishlist will be to make his senior bow for his country. That could very well come later on Saturday when Group C basement boys Malta visit Stadio San Nicola.

However, Udogie has a real challenge for the left-back role from Inter Milan's Federico Dimarco. The 25-year-old has been a regular for his country over the past 18 months after starring for his club.

Operating as a left wing-back for Inter, Dimarco and Udogie are both very similar in terms of that they love to attack and contribute in the final third. So far this term, Dimarco has one goal and three assists to his name from nine games in all competitions.

Even if Dimarco does get the green light from Spalletti to start at left-back, there is the possibility that Udogie could take up a slightly different position against Malta. Speaking to the media on Friday, the new Italy head coach discussed Udogie's attacking role at Tottenham and dropped a hint over a potential positional switch due to his versatility.

"We have five natural midfielders and Udogie, who is playing in midfield in the Premier League and possesses the kind of physicality that could come in handy," he said, as reported by the Italian national team's official website.

Whether or not Udogie makes his senior Italy debut against Malta or not, it does seem like it will only be a matter of time before Spalletti lets him loose on the international stage. The player has demonstrated in the opening months of the 2023/24 season that he is going to be a star for club and country for years to come.


Player in Training.


Lord High Chief of the Privvy
Apparently he had a very good game.