Antonio Conte on Tottenham's January transfer window: The squad may be technically weaker



Posted Friday, February 18, 2022 by ESPN

Antonio Conte on Tottenham's January transfer window: The squad may be technically weaker

Antonio Conte has suggested Tottenham Hotspur's squad may have been technically "weakened" by their business in the January transfer window after shipping out four players and only bringing in two replacements.

He was keen to sign several reinforcements last month but missed out on Adama Traore and Luis Diaz -- who signed for Barcelona and Liverpool respectively -- while ESPN revealed that Spurs also had two bids rejected for Middlesbrough defender Djed Spence.

Spurs did eventually sign Juventus duo Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski, the latter initially on loan, but allowed Dele Alli to join Everton on an initial free transfer before loaning out three others: Bryan Gil, who only joined the club six months earlier for £25 million, record-signing Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso.

On Feb. 4, Conte described his squad as "more complete" because they possessed greater balance but in an interview with Sky Italy released in full on Thursday, he said: "What happened in January is not easy. Four players left in January. Four important players for Tottenham, two have arrived. So even numerically instead of reinforcing yourself you may have, on paper, weakened.

"Then, precise choices were made for many reasons. But I certainly never expected that in January, four players who I still considered important would change their shirts for a thousand reasons. This shows the difficulty. Tottenham in the last session of the summer transfer market and in January changed eight players."

Conte once again asked for patience in efforts to return Tottenham to the summit of English football by highlighting the club's emphasis of signing players with potential rather than the finished article.

"It is inevitable that in January it is very difficult to get two players like [Rodrigo] Bentancur and [Dejan] Kulusevski to sign who, I repeat, are the ideal prospects for Tottenham," he said. "Because Tottenham is looking for young players, players to be developed, not ready players.

"The vision, the philosophy of the club is this. It is inevitable that if you want to grow faster and if you want to be competitive more quickly you need players with a lot of experience because they also lead to an increase in experience in your team.

"But then again, the vision of the club I realised is this and will continue to be this. For this reason it will take a lot of patience, and I continue to explain it to the whole environment and to the fans."

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