Antonio Conte has said that the impact Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison had on their return to the starting eleven, proved how important it is for Tottenham to bulk up their squad in January.

Richarlison and Kulusevski got their first start since returning from their respective injuries, with the duo playing alongside Harry Kane up front in a 3-4-3 against Leeds.

Richarlison

(Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

It was the first time in several weeks that Conte was able to find what is close to a full-strength strike force, with the duo also being joined by Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura on the treatment table at different points this season.

Spurs certainly seemed to have more of a cutting-edge in attack, with Kulusevski, in particular, putting in an impressive showing. The Swede looked threatening all game and sett up Rodrigo Bentancur’s 83rd-minute matchwinner to help the Lilywhites complete another sensational comeback.

Reports over recent weeks have indicated that Tottenham are expected to back Conte in January, with the Italian allegedly wanting up to three new signings (Evening Standard).

When asked about reinforcements in January, the Spurs head coach said after his side’s 4-3 win over Leeds, the Italian told Football.London: “You know very well that if you want to be competitive and if you want to be really considered a title contender, or considered a team to win a trophy, you need players with great quality. You see the example of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea and these teams are really strong. Strong squad with a great quality.

“For this reason, when I speak with you and I tell you that after only one year, don’t forget that we were playing in the Conference League after we finished seventh, it means that you need a process. You need time.

“You need patience, you need the transfer market to improve the, squad, the quality of your squad. Today you have seen the difference to have Kulusevski and Richarlison rather than not.

“It’s important for me the coach also to work with these players. If you see the improvement of Rodrigo and the improvement of Hojbjerg. In my opinion, I see huge improvement.

“You have to match this. To improve the players but you need time to improve the quality of you if you want to fight for something important in the Premier League or the Champions League. The quality of the players is really important.”

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Kulusevski’s return to the starting lineup made all the difference yesterday and showed the importance of having a player who is capable of regularly taking on and beating his man one vs one. Conte will likely want a suitable backup for the Swede in January and I would not be surprised if Spurs reignite their interest in Nicolo Zaniolo.

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