It is safe to say that life at Tottenham Hotspur has not fully impressed Antonio Conte so far. In a recent interview with Sky Italia the Spurs boss opened up on the difficulties he has faced now that he is involved behind the scenes. 

“When you are outside you can never make exact assessments. Then taking over the current year is never easy. I only did it once (at Bari in 2007, ed) and I promised myself not to do it again.

“Then there is the desire, the desire to always question oneself even in very difficult situations such as this one of Tottenham, because Tottenham has been in the middle of the table for so many years.

“But that didn’t scare me; I glimpsed situations that could be developed. Then when you enter the situation you understand better all the difficulties. In January, for example, four important players for Tottenham left and two arrived.

“So, even numerically, instead of strengthening yourself you may have weakened on paper. Then precise choices were made, for many reasons.

“However. Surely. I never expected 4 players who I still considered important to change shirts in January. This shows the difficulty. Tottenham changed 8 players between summer and January.”

Conte has himself declared that his true thoughts may have been mistranslated (Football.London). However, it is clear that he believes there is a lot of work to be done in order for this squad to reach the level that he expects.

With four players departing the club who Conte considered “important” and only two new profiles arriving, it is imperative that the same mistakes are not made in the summer or a new manager will have to be added to the list of arrivals.

Ensuring that Spurs provide Conte with the players he needs to compete on all fronts is easier said than done. This is largely down to the multiple perspectives that currently influence transfers at Hotspur Way.

Firstly, Conte himself demands players who are at the peak of their powers, ready and willing to carry out his stringent demands.

Players such as Romelu Lukaku, Achraf Hakimi, and Christian Eriksen were players that the 52-year-old brought to Inter Milan during his tenure.

Furthermore, at Chelsea, Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger, and N’golo Kante were all purchased at Conte’s wishes. These players were already of an elite level and when subjected to Conte’s coaching, helped contribute to delivering league titles.

Spurs have already failed to provide Conte with his rumoured January targets (Football.London) Adama Traore and Franck Kessie. These failures have undoubtedly frustrated Conte and thus raised the stakes of delivering his demands this summer window.

However, a spanner in the works is Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

Levy is renowned for his penny-pinching methods which have worked against Spurs in the past. Talksport reports the infamous time the Lilywhites missed out on capturing Jack Grealish due to Levy’s unwillingness to part with £6 million.

It is clear who Conte is talking about when he says (Football London): “Because Tottenham is looking for young players, players to be developed, not ready players. This is the speech.”

Levy typically eyes players who are of little financial cost and who may present a healthy profit in terms of sell-on value. Whilst this tactic can present some shrewd buys such as Kyle Walker and Dele Alli, it does not typically coincide with Conte’s philosophy of building a team to win now.

The two differing approaches of the manager and the chairman are likely to create tension within the hierarchy of the club. This tension technically should be offset by the Director of Football Fabio Paratici.

Paratici worked with Conte at Juventus for three seasons and so should understand how the manager likes to work. Oddly, this has not been reflected so far in his scatter-gun approach to incoming transfers.

Spurs have been linked to what feels like every player in the Serie A, as well as a number of talented young English players.

It is true that Conte has eyed a number of Serie A players to improve his Spurs side. Inter Milan centre-backs Stefan De Vrij (Inter News) and Stefan Bastoni (Mirror) have both recently been touted as potential targets for the Italian coach.

However, Conte’s comments about recent signings Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski suggest that they were not the ready-made winners he was wishing for this January (Sky Italia). It could be that Paratici’s failure to secure Conte’s primary targets forced him to raid his old employer so as to disguise his failure to deliver.

One thing for sure is that a concise, ambitious approach needs to be taken to recruitment this summer if Spurs are to progress.

Levy must take a back seat and allow Conte to choose the targets that he think will help bring silverware back to N17.

The Daily Mail report that Spurs talisman Harry Kane is awaiting assurances that Conte will be backed fully in the upcoming summer window before he commits his future to the club.

So, with it not just being Conte’s future that now hangs in the balance, Levy and Paratici face the most significant window in Spurs’ recent history.

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