‘Makes me laugh’ – Conte dismisses idea that he needs to spend big to succeed

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Joe Lewis Daniel Levy
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Antonio Conte has rubbished the notion that he needs to spend big in the transfer market in order to succeed. 

Conte arrived at Spurs with an enviable CV, having won league titles at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan. However, some have questioned whether the 52-year-old will be backed heavily enough in the transfer market to succeed in North London.

There have even been suggestions of a £150m war chest being available to the Tottenham boss during January.

Conte has now hit back against the claim that he always spends big money on transfers, pointing out that he has helped his previous clubs make more money than he has spent.

When asked about his reputation of splashing the cash during the transfer window, the Tottenham head coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “It makes me laugh. Let me tell you that in my career in the end I have always made money, not spent.

“I have often worked with young people to train, depreciated athletes or to be rebuilt, players who had never won until then.

“All players who have been re-evaluated, thanks to my work. In my career, I have only asked for one player who has been paid a lot (Romelu Lukaku).

“I asked for it based on the objectives that had been presented to me. The Inter executives came to my house to tell me that they wanted to overthrow Juve’s hegemony and bring Inter to the top of the world, taking advantage of great financial resources.

“I asked for Lukaku considering it essential, but also look at what has been resold – almost double. Like Hakimi, but I could mention the enhancement of Barella, Bastoni, Lautaro, who did not play before my arrival.

“At Juve, I had the pleasure of working with Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini: phenomena, but when I still hadn’t won anything.

“I mean that where I go I always build something important and when I leave I leave a groove, a culture of work, an organization and a winning mentality.

“I totally put my heart and soul into the club I work for. Faithful to that All Blacks motto: ‘Leave the shirt better than how you found it’.

“I have always left houses with well-built foundations where others, after me, have had the opportunity to continue to win, some more, some less. It is not presumption, they are facts.”

Putting together a title challenge with this Tottenham side, who finished in seventh place last season, appears near impossible but Conte pointed out that he has achieved similar feats in his managerial career.

While the Spurs boss admitted that it will take time to compete with the best, he insisted that he is excited by the challenge.

He added: “Challenges have never scared me, it’s enough for me to have only a one per cent chance of winning them to start my battle. I have never taken teams that had won the year before, but always reconstruction paths.

“Juve came from an eighth-place, Chelsea from a tenth, Inter from a quarter. I know it will take a little patience this time. In Milan, I left a finished job. Here I have to start over and enter the current season is never easy.

“Great teams build over time. Klopp did not enter the Champions League in the early years in Liverpool, but they gave him confidence and year after year he shaped the team that then won it.

“Guardiola didn’t win the first year either. We are starting from a-b-c, but on the way we plan to accelerate with the letters of the alphabet. The path is bumpy but it doesn’t scare me, it excites me.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

While there has been a lot of talk on how much money Conte needs in the transfer market, there has been comparatively very little discussion regarding how much he can improve some players in the squad.

I don’t just think the Italian will be able to get the best out of the likes of Kane and Son but I can even see the likes of Ben Davies and Eric Dier becoming much improved defenders under his tutelage.

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