Antonio Conte has claimed that Tottenham will need at least two more transfer windows before they can go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the Premier League.
Tottenham have strengthened their squad significantly over the summer, having brought in seven new players through the door, although Destiny Udogie has been loaned back to Udinese.
That means Conte now has a lot more options to choose from and although the Italian has largely started with the players who were already at the club last season for his first four games of the new campaign, he has been able to influence matches with his bench more.
Richarlison made a difference after replacing Son Heung-min in the 74th minute against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, setting up Tottenham’s and Harry Kane’s second goal with an inch-perfect cross.
With games now coming thick and fast over the next three weeks, Conte admitted that the strength of Spurs’ squad will be tested. However, he insisted that it will take time and patience before the Lilywhites reach the level of Manchester City and Liverpool.
The Italian told Football.London: “For sure if you have to play one game every six days, every seven days or one week a game. From now I try to start with the old players because they give me more reality.
“With the new players we start to work with them only one month and a half. It was the reason. I think in the end my choice was good as we got four good results in the first four games.
“Now it’s normal, when you have to play one game every three days it’s normal to make rotation. The player has to be intelligent to understand sometimes to go on bench, to come in, to alternate.
“For sure in this moment, this is the moment this is the period the club can understand if we are really really complete in the squad or maybe we will do better.
“For sure compared to last season we are more complete as a squad. You know very well to reach other teams at top level I think we need time, patience and at least two transfer markets to reach the same level.”
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Guardiola and Klopp have had several years at City and Liverpool respectively to shape their squads exactly how they want. So, one can understand why Conte is asking for time to do the same.
However, given how competitive the Italian is, I suspect that he will be telling his players that they can compete with City and Liverpool this season.
He obviously would not want to put pressure on himself and the squad by admitting that publicly. A third-place finish and winning a cup competition would be a very good achievement for Spurs this season.
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