Conte: Tottenham still too far from Premier League’s best despite big summer spending


Antonio Conte says there is ‘still too much distance’ between Tottenham and the Premier League’s top clubs for his side to be considered title contenders as he admitted his side could be stretched by the autumn schedule .

Spurs have signed seven new players in the transfer window, with Destiny Udogie returning immediately to Udinese on loan, but Conte says they need at least three more transfer windows before they are level with Manchester City and Liverpool.

“In this transfer window we have done what the club can do,” Conte said ahead of Fulham’s visit on Saturday. “And I think we did some good things.

“But I have to be honest with you because if I see the other teams from the top teams there is still too much distance. And for that reason we have to know that we have just started this process to try to improve the team. .

“In this transfer window we tried to do it and also in January, with Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski. Of course, to be competitive, to fight to be a title contender, but also to get a place in the Champions League, you need at least three more transfer windows before you improve and be on the same level as the other big clubs.”

Spurs completed all of their summer activities on July 19, meaning their six new signings have all had a pre-season under Conte.

The Italian said he was happy with the club’s ‘vision’ during the window but played down suggestions they had a clear advantage over Chelsea and Manchester United, who spent heavily late in the days leading up to the date Thursday night deadline.

“Honestly, if you sign a £100m or £80m player on the last day, you have a big advantage because that means you’re signing a top player,” Conte said.

“To also sign a player for free or on loan, it’s a different situation. I want to be very clear. I think we did what we could do and at the right time because the vision was very clear on the money to be spent. We spent money on two players, Richarlison and [Yves] kiss.

“The others were on loan or free but it’s sure to have a vision and to anticipate and to give the coach the possibility to work from the start I think that means that we work very well with a vision. very clear, and not waiting until the last day for a player to come on loan or sign a player with characteristics that are not good for our team.”


Djed Spence’s first day at Tottenham

From this week, Spurs will play all three or four players until the Premier League break for the World Cup in mid-November – apart from this month’s international break – and Conte acknowledges that his team could quickly be stretched by inevitable injuries.

Significantly, he downplayed the short-term prospect of youngsters Djed Spence, Bryan Gil, both 21, and Pape Matar Sarr, 19, playing big roles.

“When you play so many games in a short time, of course you have to understand that you will probably have to deal with injuries,” Conte said. “For this reason, it is important to have a strong team to face four competitions.

“We are going to play the Champions League, not the Europa League or the Conference League. The Europa League or the Conference League, you can afford to make big rotations.

“When you go to the Champions League, you have to go with a strong team and for sure the task is more difficult. But it’s a good opportunity for me, for the club, to understand if we are missing something.

“We are going in the right direction for the club’s ability to invest money at the moment. Then you have to be realistic to understand that there are different clubs: clubs that can invest a lot of money, others clubs that can invest normal money.

“For sure on the way it is more difficult in this aspect. But we want to keep improving. We are working very well, I am happy to have this group of players, this team, the new players are totally inside the team, inside the locker room.

“We did the right things. But if anyone thinks we’ve solved the situation, we’re a long way from that.”

Asked about Spence, a £20million signing from Middlesbrough, Conte said: “We’ve spent money on Richarlison and Bissouma because those two players play a lot of Premier League games and now we’re talking about two players who are ready to play.

“About Djed, I always tell everyone and I say it’s an investment for the club to sign a young player. When you sign a young player, you know you have to wait, work with him to He’s a good prospect, a perfect prospect for Tottenham, but if we’re talking about trying to be competitive to win, we definitely need other signings.

“It has to be very clear because otherwise we are confusing and I want to be very clear in that aspect. For sure he will be a good player for the future of Tottenham.

“[Gil and Sarr] have to work like Spence to develop and then be ready to be Tottenham players for the future.

“It has to be very clear otherwise it would be very important not to confuse, to confuse to understand which other players if you want to be competitive or not. Young player, good perspective but at the same time we need to have players ready to play in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.”

Conte: Tottenham still too far from Premier League’s best despite big summer spending

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