REVEALED: The reasons behind Dejan Kulusevski’s excellent start to life at Tottenham… from Antonio Conte telling him to cut out sweets and fizzy drinks from his diet to relaxing yoga sessions and dog walks
- Dejan Kulusevski has started strongly at Tottenham since his January loan move
- Antonio Conte has inspired the midfielder’s form with his strict off-pitch rules
- The Italian has influenced Kulusevski’s diet and told him to stop eating sweets
- The 21-year-old Swede relaxes by reading and doing yoga sessions at home
- He hopes to emulate Eden Hazard, who ignited his love for the Premier League
In two years at Juventus, Dejan Kulusevski never gave the impression of being a top player and his transfer to Tottenham in January seemed to be the perfect way to ease the financial burden on the Serie A side.
The midfielder is currently on loan at Spurs, but if they end up buying him outright for £29.2million then Juve will have recouped half of what they paid for star striker Dusan Vlahovic.
But the deal has been perfect for Tottenham too and Kulusevski has been reborn under Antonio Conte’s strict rules. Spurs training sessions are very different to those at Juventus and the 21-year-old enjoys the focus of Conte’s drills. He has a healthy diet and is teetotal, while he loves reading, meditating and being with his pet dog in his down time.
Dejan Kulusevski has made an impressive start to life at Tottenham since his January move
As a result, Kulusevski is putting in the kind of performances that first put him on Juve’s radar when he was at Parma. He has scored three goals and six assists in 13 appearances and it seems as if his difficult two years in Turin have motivated him to show what he can do.
But what exactly is behind the Swedish international’s impressive start to life in England?
Conte loves to customise the diets of his players, most famously with Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan Milan with Lukaku. He has recommended the best food choices for Spurs’ players, including Kulusevski.
Kulusevski scored his third goal in Tottenham colours against Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon
Antonio Conte has made recommendations to the 21-year-old’s diet such as cutting out sweets
When he was starting out at Atalanta, it was noted that the midfielder had developed a bad habit of chewing gum. When he joined Juventus, he stopped this and also scrapped sweets and fizzy drinks from his diet at the suggestion of Conte.
Kulusevski is also teetotal and his love of fizzy drinks is now a distant memory. He only drinks cold still water or protein drinks in addition to things recommended by his manager.
Settling in off the field
According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Kulusevski spent his first days in London at the house of Pierluigi Gollini, who is currently on loan at Spurs from Atalanta.
Kulusevski reportedly spent his first days in London at the house of goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini
The 21-year-old is very close to his family and his parents, sister and cousins now go to London almost every week. His girlfriend Eldina Ahmic is also a footballer and they have a Pomeranian dog called Gigi together; they can often be spotted on walks around London.
Kulusevski’s ability to speak five languages – Swedish, Italian, Macedonian, English and a little German – has also helped him adapt to Spurs’ diverse changing room.
Kulusevski loves to meditate and do yoga, which is something he began while away with Sweden but now regularly does at his London home.
The midfielder fell in love with the Premier League after watching his idol Eden Hazard play
Instead of playing video games, the 21-year-old will read or listen to music in order to relax. He especially enjoys reading before games and his favourite authors are Paulo Coelho and Robin Sharma.
Following in his idol’s footsteps
Kulusevski’s dream has always been to emulate his favourite player Eden Hazard. He fell in love with the Premier League because of the Belgian and he has always admired his technique.