Dejan Kulusevski has not made an appearance for Tottenham Hotspur since featuring for Sweden in their UEFA Nations League matches last month.

A thigh injury forced the 22-year-old to miss the matches against Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion.

The attacking midfielder played the full 90 minutes in Sweden’s 1-1 draw against Slovenia on September 27th. Antonio Conte is of the belief this made his situation worse.

Kulusevski is vital to Tottenham, and the former Chelsea manager has admitted he will not risk him for the Champions League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt later today.

“Kulusevski had a problem with Sweden and also made it worse by staying on the pitch until the end. For tomorrow [today], I absolutely don’t think I want to risk him because losing him would be devastating for us. He’s doing great things, he has a lot of potential,” he told Sky Italia.

The Swede joined Spurs on an 18-month loan deal from Juventus in January. The English club have an obligation to make his stay permanent if certain conditions are met. Conte has backed him to impress further for Tottenham.

“He is a crack and has a great desire to improve, he aims to become an important player. It was an excellent investment for Tottenham,” the 53-year-old explained.

Spurs have looked at Serie A to bolster their squad since Conte arrived at the club in November. They took Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus in January, and Ivan Perišić joined Tottenham as a free agent in the summer.

“He [Kulusevski] and Bentancur guaranteed us a big leap in quality last season. Coming from Italy they were more tactically prepared, they helped us a lot to hit the Champions League goal, something miraculous if you think from where we started,” the coach added.

“Perišić arrived with a serious calf problem, he’s recovering, it’s not what I know yet, but he has already given us a hand in terms of assists and personality, I’m sure he will give us even more.”

Meanwhile, Tottenham have four points in the Champions League and are second in the table, level on points with third placed Eintracht Frankfurt. These two sides trail Sporting by two points.

“The situation in the Champions League is in our hands. In a balanced group it is easy to lose and get points against anyone, we have many possibilities but then we will have to prove it on the pitch,” Conte stressed.

“We need more competitive malice, we have had occasions in which we could have achieved more but we didn’t. We prepared well for tomorrow’s match despite the difficult moment, but we are focused.”