Robbie Keane believes Antonio Conte is ‘building something big’ at Tottenham but admits the club needs to qualify for the Champions League to improve their chances of keeping the Italian on board.
Conte led his side to an important 3-0 win over Arsenal in the north London derby to boost their hopes of reaching the elite European competition next season.
Harry Kane’s first-half double came either side of a rash sending off for Rob Holding, while Heung-min Son tallied his 21st Premier League goal of the season shortly after the break to move Spurs within one point of fourth PLACE.
Although the win has edged Spurs closer to the top four, speculation surrounding Conte continues to swirl with the 52-year-old recently linked with a switch to Paris Saint-Germain, which would see him replace former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino (The Athletic).
While Conte later dismissed the rumours as ‘fake news’ (Sky Sports), ex-Tottenham striker Keane believes the club playing Champions League football next term could be a key factor in retaining him this summer.
He told Sky Sports Premier League HD (12/05/22 – 22:18 via Football Daily): “I think Conte deserves to be managing in the Champions League. We’ve seen him over the last few weeks – against Liverpool last week, how he sets his team up against top teams and top managers. Tactically he always gets it spot on, we’ve seen against Manchester City the same and we’ve seen it again tonight.
“I was watching them in the game there when they were 3-0 up. Normal games and normal managers they would have their striker playing higher up on the halfway line trying to get another goal.
“He was telling them to get back in a really low block, stopping Arsenal from trying to play through them. That’s the sign of a manager that wants to continue to win regardless of whether it’s three, four, five, six nil, it doesn’t matter. He wants his team not to concede.
“With the players that they have they’ll score goals, so he’s a manager that deserves to be in Champions League football.”
On the speculation that Conte could still leave Spurs this summer, Keane added: “I hope not. I presume that Daniel Levy is speaking to his representatives, there’s no question because you see the fans after the game, before the game, they absolutely love him.
“My Spurs friends and the people around the club absolutely adore him. You can see the players do as well, so get that contract and make sure he stays.
“The only the team that you’d see that he’d probably go to is Paris Saint-Germain. That’s the only one I can see because all the other teams are taken. They would take him in a heartbeat.
“Maybe [Zinedine] Zidane will go there, hopefully [Mauricio] Pochettino stays, but where else does he go? I think he’s building something big here, I really do. But they have to get into the Champions League and these next two games we’ll see that.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Champions League football is a big draw for players and managers all over Europe and that could be something that really keeps Conte at Spurs.
Even if the club doesn’t make it, they should be doing all they can to make sure they convince him to stay as you can see what he is looking to build already.
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