With 14 matches managed, resulting in eight wins, three draws and three losses, Antonio Conte’s start to life in North London has shown encouraging signs thus far.
Conte has spoken openly about attempting to shift the mentality on the pitch within the current team. But, with an obvious staleness in the squad, Spurs fans will be hoping the Italian is permitted the necessary funds to build his footballing vision in the coming months.
Tottenham’s Director of Football, Fabio Paratici, will have a clear understanding of the way Conte will want to work in the transfer market, as the two successfully operated Juventus to three consecutive Seria A titles from 2011/12 season onwards.
It is safe to assume that Conte will not tolerate a half-hearted approach to transfer business: A process that Spurs fans have frustratingly become accustomed to.
Here at the Spurs Web, we have drafted two potential Spurs starting lineups for the opening day of the 2022/23 season. A lot can happen between now and then, but we decided to take a punt anyway.
A Rumoured 11 (3-4-1-2): Lloris (C), Romero, Dier, Romagnoli, Traore, Skipp/Sarr, Kessie, Reguilon, Kane, Son, Vlahovic.
If the rumours are to be believed, this is potentially a way Spurs could line up for their 2022/23 season opener in August.
The Daily Mail suggest that Hugo Lloris is said to be open to extending his Spurs contract for another year after Conte placed his trust in the World Cup-winning Frenchman.
After strong performances in the heart of Conte’s defence, Eric Dier also keeps his place alongside Cristian Romero who is currently facing a spell on the sidelines.
A number of impressive displays by Oliver Skipp means he maintains his place but will be rotated with the talented midfielder Pape Matar Sarr. The Senegal man will arrive at Spurs in the summer and battle with Skipp for game time.
90Min report that Conte is interested in a double-swoop for AC Milan duo Alessio Romagnoli and Franck Kessie as they enter the final six months of their contracts.
26-year-old Romagnoli would be a shrewd addition to battle with the much-improved Ben Davies for a starting spot. It is common knowledge that Conte prefers a left-footer in the LCB spot and Romagnoli fits this profile.
The Rossoneri’s captain would provide leadership qualities in Spurs’ defence, as well as composure and strong distribution skills which are vital in any Conte team.
The Lilywhites have certainly been missing a creative presence in their midfield this season. Both Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp excel in winning the ball, however, a midfielder with an eye for an attacking return would be a perfect addition.
The Ivorian Kessie provides just this. With five goals and an assist in 21 games for AC Milan this season, as well as the superb ball-winning and tempo-controlling abilities, Kessie would be a very strong signing for Paratici.
It remains to be seen whether Spurs will sanction moves for the duo in the January transfer window, or wait until the summer.
A transfer that certainly seems closer on the horizon is that of Wolves winger Adama Traore.
Spurs are interested in the Spaniard’s signature, with Football.London claiming that Conte views Traore as a potential right-wing-back to replace Emerson Royal who is yet to prove himself to be a dangerous attacking outlet.
The former Barcelona man has the raw pace and power to strike fear into the heart of any opposition defender.
However, his final ball and finishing have left a lot to be desired in the past. Conte will be hoping Traore’s chaos-causing runs will create space for more clinical players to exploit.
Spurs shockingly remain a one-striker club. But Conte will be hoping this can change prior to the upcoming campaign.
Italian journalist Gianluca DiMarzio told WettFreunde that Spurs are in for Fiorentina ace Dusan Vlahovic. With Arsenal also interested in the Serbian, Spurs are said to be viewed as a more attractive destination by the player.
However, with a transfer projected to cost up to £150M when accumulated fees and wages are included, the Lilywhites may be priced out of a move for Vlahovic.
Vlahovic is an extremely well-rounded striker who has demonstrated his ability to score all types of goals in a tough defensive league.
With 16 goals and three assists, the 21-year-old is currently the league’s top scorer and no doubt has a successful future ahead of him. If Conte was to convince a player of Vlahovic’s pedigree to join Spurs, it would be a real statement to the rest of the Premier League.
Unrealistic 11 (3-4-2-1): Lloris (C), Romero, De Vrij, Bastoni, Lamptey, Barella, Milinkovic-Savic, Reguilon, Son, Dybala, Kane.
Yes, this is extremely unrealistic. But with The Telegraph claiming that Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy recently met with owner Joe Lewis to discuss investment into the club, maybe it is not impossible.
Inter Milan fans would not thank Paratici for raiding three of their finest talents in De Vrij, Bastoni, and Barella. However, the Italian giants are still scrambling to recoup funds after a £211million loss in revenue. So, if Spurs are serious about backing Conte, both January and the upcoming summer window could be the time to strike.
The aforementioned trio all excelled under Conte as the Italian guided Inter to their first Serie A title in 11 years last season. Recruiting like-minded players who are used to winning would help propel Spurs to much-needed silverware.
Homegrown wing-back Tariq Lamptey would be a perfect arrival to N17. With Conte favouring wing-backs with pace, skill and delivery, the 21-year-old fits the billing.
However, the Daily Express report that Paratici believes that Brighton’s £50million valuation of the youngster is out of Spurs’ price range.
A player who could be the perfect upgrade to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the Tottenham midfield is Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Standing at 6-foot-3-inches, with on-the-ball skills to match his impressive physicality, he would no doubt be able to compete against even the most elite midfielders in the Premier League
A name in that lineup that will cause PTSD for most Spurs fans is Paulo Dybala. An inability to agree on a fee for the player’s image rights was the only thing standing between the mercurial attacking midfielder and Spurs in the summer of 2019.
With Dybala now in the final six months of his Juventus contract, bringing the Argentinian to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium should be high on Paratici’s to-do list.
Whether the Spurs hierarchy decides to maintain a more pragmatic approach to incoming transfers or break the bank this summer, it is safe to say the starting 11 next season is likely to be very different.
With a coach as special as Antonio Conte at the helm, Spurs cannot afford to waste this opportunity for success by not giving him the players he desires.
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