Antonio Conte has played down Tottenham’s chances of finishing inside the top four, claiming the club’s decisions weakened the squad in the January transfer window.
Tottenham’s unstable season seems to have taken another ugly turn as Antonio Conte gave a scathing assessment of their transfer business. The Italian feels the decisions made by the club in the January window have effectively weakened the squad as they compete for a top-four place.
At one point, Spurs were in a commanding position after starting life brightly under the Italian and had a few games in hand over their rivals. Had Tottenham won their pending matches, they would have been clear of Arsenal, West Ham and Manchester United in fourth place.
Instead, back to back defeats to Southampton and Wolves have had a massive effect on their quest to qualify for next season’s Champions League. The manager recently lamented their business in the January window, claiming the dealings weakened their squad.
Spurs let go of at least four first-team players and only got two in return. They did sign Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus, which, on paper, looked like good business to strengthen two key areas of the squad. However, Conte feels otherwise and insists those decisions could cost them a place in the top four.
"𝐈 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝟏% 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐟𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐭𝐡!"
Antonio Conte admits that the task at Tottenham is "totally different" to his previous jobs and offers a frank assessment on making the #UCL next season.
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) February 16, 2022
The Italian gave a scathing assessment of the current Tottenham squad in a recent interview. His controversial comments appeared on the Daily Mail via BeinSport. Conte played down Spurs’ chances of finishing inside the top four come the end of the season.
“Four players left in January,” bemoaned Conte. “Four important players for Tottenham, two have arrived. So even numerically, instead of reinforcing, you may have, on paper, weakened. Bentancur and Kulusevski are ideal prospects for Tottenham because Tottenham are seeking young players they can develop and grow, not players who are ready.”
“That is the issue. I have realised now that this is the vision of the club. 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.”
He went on to speak of the club’s objectives come the end of the season, playing down the chances of a potential top-four finish: “I’ve always said that I have to feel only one per cent the possibility to win the league Here it is strange because maybe I feel the one per cent possibility to finish fourth. The level of this league is very high and there is not a lot of space for other teams than the top teams.”
If the situation remains unchanged, many fear that Conte could walk away from the club at the end of the current campaign. Even star striker Harry Kane could consider his options if chairman Daniel Levy does not back the manager’s ambition, although Spurs are not expected to spend big despite the glaring need of key players in the squad.