An insight into the area Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is looking to strengthen in ahead of the January window has been revealed.
What area Conte wants to strengthen in
Antonio Conte has so far taken charge of three matches as Tottenham boss. The Italian guided his side to a Europa Conference League win over Vitesse before then drawing 0-0 with Everton in the Premier League.
Then, this past weekend, Conte and co. came from 1-0 down to beat a struggling Leeds side 2-1.
For all three games, Conte opted to use a back-five with three central defenders.
However, barring Cristian Romero – who played in a three with former club Atalanta – none of Spurs’ current centre-backs seem overly suited to a back-three and, in truth, most are not of that high a quality anyway regardless of whether they play in a three or four.
So, it is not too surprising to see Duncan Castles report on his latest Transfer Window Podcast show that Conte wants to sign two starting centre-backs in January:
Conte is making big demands. This isn’t unexpected because to get him into the club Fabio Paratici and therefore Daniel Levy, and you hope that Daniel Levy is aware of the promises that, Fabio Paratici made to Conte, was that he would be provided with a squad that could compete, that would have a chance of getting into the Champions league through this season, which means significant spending in January and then a big spend in the summer to give them the opportunity to properly compete for the Premier League title next season.
So there is an understanding there that the large amount of money Tottenham have stored away, in the sense of they have a low wages to turnover ratio, they now have the stadium operating at close to the expected financial gain, they haven’t managed to get the naming rights for naming rights lane yet, but that’s in progress. The money will be channelled into the team. Conte, one of the things he’s asking for in January is not one, but two starting centre-backs.
Tottenham looking at Eric Bailly
Later in the same podcast, Castles provided some insight into who Tottenham are looking at as a potential centre-back signing.
And one of the players apparently being eyed is Manchester United and Ivory Coast star, Eric Bailly:
Conte feels it’s fundamental to improve a centre-back, to get his five-at-the-back system working properly. Options, one of the individuals they’re in discussion about, although as I understand it no offer has been made at this point, is a Manchester United player, Eric Bailly. He’s someone that Conte likes and was looking at as a possible recruit at Inter.
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— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) November 23, 2021
Bailly has been a fringe star at United for several years now and has been plagued with injury woes.
Would he be an upgrade on Tottenham’s current central defenders?
‘A bit serious’: Antonio Conte provides injury update on Tottenham’s Cristian Romero
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Premier League table
|4||West Ham United||12||9||23|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||12||-2||17|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||11|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||7|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||7|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||6|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||5|
|Cornet, Maxwel||Burnley FC||5|
|Sarr, Ismaila||Watford FC||5|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||4|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||4|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||4|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||4|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||4|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||4|
|Smith-Rowe, Emile||Arsenal FC||4|
|Benteke, Christian||Crystal Palace||4|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||4|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||4|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace||4|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||4|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||6|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||1||4|
|Westwood, Ashley||Burnley FC||0||5|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||5|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||1||4|
|Skipp, Oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||5|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||0||4|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||4|
|Ritchie, Matt||Newcastle United||0||4|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa||0||4|
|Moreno, Rodrigo||Leeds United||0||4|
|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford FC||0||4|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||4|
|Normann, Mathias||Norwich City||0||4|
|Cooper, Liam||Leeds United||0||4|
|Duffy, Shane||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||4|
|Lascelles, Jamaal||Newcastle United||0||4|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United||0||4|
|Veltman, Joel||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||4|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||7|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||6|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||5|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||5|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||5|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||3|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||3|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle United||3|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||3|
|Lowton, Matthew||Burnley FC||3|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||3|
|Ritchie, Matt||Newcastle United||3|
|Westwood, Ashley||Burnley FC||3|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||3|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||2|