The last two games against Chelsea may have given Antonio Conte his biggest realistic test yet at Tottenham.
The Italian, who was appointed as Spurs manager in November, has enjoyed a good start to life in north London, but if he didn’t already know, the manager would be well aware of just how far Spurs lag behind the “top” teams. .
Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 on aggregate in the Carabao Cup semi-finals and Conte admitted it was “impossible” to compare the conditions in their London rivals at the moment.
“I think at this moment we cannot compare the two situations, the situation of Chelsea and the situation of Tottenham. I think it is not fair to compare the two situations, because it is impossible to compare,” he said.
Last month, Conte admitted that improvement in his team was very necessary, saying: “After just two weeks, I said we need to improve the quality of the team and certainly we need to improve the quality of this team.
“I was sure after seven days, ten days, two weeks of this. Then I made assessments to understand which players I could count on and which I could not.
“Sure, the team needs to improve quality but in an important way. Before we think about a place in the UEFA or the Conference League because the level in this league is very high.
“Now we are in the middle and we have to think about building something important. For this reason, I am asking for patience and time because now the gap is very big and we need to work a lot, also to try to build. And also improve the quality of the team.”
Now, as we approach the middle of the January transfer window, Tottenham and Conte have yet to add to their squad, but rumors have continued to flow.
football. London He takes a closer look at three players with whom Tottenham have strongly linked, and who could change the North London squad this month.
Speaking on the Here We Go Podcast recently, Fabrizio Romano insisted that Spurs remain interested in Torres.
The Spain international has been closely linked with a move to Tottenham last summer and Conte could make a move for him this month to bolster his defensive options.
The 24-year-old has two and a half years left on his contract with the Spanish club, with his La Liga performances continuing to attract attention from across Europe.
Currently, Spurs have Eric Dier, Japhet Tanganga, Christian Romero, Davinson Sanchez and Joe Rodon as centre-backs, with definite room for improvement in this division. Torres could be the guy who does exactly that.
Dyer has been impressive since Conte took over at the end of last year, while Romero has spent most of that time out due to injury.
Torres, who shares these two in a three-way defence, could be a key component for Conte to bring his line of defense closer to the way he wants it.
The Spaniard is largely on the ball, while also possessing the attributes of an old-fashioned defender.
Casey is another man strongly linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur. The Ivory Coast international has six months left on his contract with AC Milan.
Last month, ESPN reported that Tottenham were close to making a “lucrative offer” for the AC Milan midfielder to try to lure him away from the San Siro.
With Kessie’s deal sealed in the summer, he could speak to foreign clubs this month to discuss a pre-contract agreement.
However, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are said to be keeping an eye on Côte d’Ivoire’s situation and could also consider making a move.
Milan’s strong star is a midfielder who could thrive under Conte’s leadership. With Tanguy Ndombele linked with an exit from Tottenham, North Londoners will need to consider bringing a new midfielder to the club.
football. London It was reported earlier this week that Tottenham have made contact with Lingard’s entourage about a move to north London this month.
The 29-year-old is not wanted at Manchester United, having played just 13 times in all competitions this season despite enjoying an impressive loan spell at West Ham United last season.
Hammers have been linked with bringing Lingard on a permanent deal due to his success, but Man United called him up, with reports claiming he had been promised more time to play at Old Trafford – but this was not the case.
The England striker showed last season that if given the chance, he could still shine in the Premier League.
His contract with United expires at the end of the season and he could be available for a reduced fee this month. Lingard’s versatility means he can play on either wing or even as an attacking midfield role behind the striker.
With Stephen Bergwijn still linked with a North London exit, Lingard’s move makes perfect sense as Conte looks to bolster his attacking options.