What positions are Tottenham aiming for in the summer transfer window? What did Antonio Conte say? And what do the statistics say?
What positions are Tottenham aiming for?
Sky Sports News’ Paul Gilmour:
Spurs are clearly backing Antonio Conte in the transfer market this summer following the news that Tottenham have injected £150m in equity into the club.
They will target multiple positions including goalkeeper, centre-back, full-back, central midfielder and a forward. Up to six or seven players could come. You have to find the right balance with local players. There is currently an imbalance in this area.
Conte wants more depth in the squad and he also wants to add experienced players, a change from the past when Spurs have been targeting younger players.
There are some at the club who feel it is inaccurate that they have not spent in the past, but there is confirmation that they have not always gotten recruitment right.
Fabio Paratici can’t do anything wrong at the club at the moment. The additions of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski have sparked belief that they are finally getting it right in this area.
Extensive homework is done on the player’s skills and character. Spurs recently turned down the chance to sign a talented Premier League player because their research highlighted concerns he could be a disruptive influence.
What do the stats say about Tottenham?
Conte wants offensive returns from his full-backs. During his time at Chelsea only three players scored more goals than left-back Marcos Alonso.
The Italian is trying to create a similar style of play at Tottenham, with Ryan Sessegnon, Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty finishing first, third and fourth for most touches in the opposition box per 90 for the defenders since his arrival.
However, Doherty and Reguilon have had the highest expected goals (xG) per 90 for defenders since his appointment, with his full-backs scoring just five goals combined. Additionally, Reguilon and Doherty have only started 13 and nine of Conte’s 26 games in charge, respectively.
What did manager Antonio Conte say?
Speaking about his own future – which will affect summer earnings – Antonio Conte said in May: “I’m under contract until next summer. I signed for a year and seven months. I really enjoyed my time at Tottenham because, I repeat, it was a big challenge for me.
“It’s very, very difficult to get a place in the Champions League. I have to consider this a really big, big achievement for me and my players. And also for the club to consider this a great achievement… after three years Tottenham can play in the Champions League again.
“I want to treat this qualification like a trophy. In my head, my heart and my head I know what we’ve accomplished in these seven months. Me, my staff and the players. I want to celebrate and we’ll have time to talk .” with the club above all.
“Now there are a lot of emotions in my head and in my heart, for me, for the club and for everyone.
“For that reason, it’s very good to rest for four or five days and then have a good conversation with the club to find the best possible solution.”
What should Tottenham do this summer?
Sky Sports football journalist Declan Olley:
It will be an exciting summer for Tottenham with the club backing Conte as they look to overhaul a squad capable of challenging on all fronts next season.
New full-backs on the right and left will be a priority for the Italian, with these positions fundamental to his tactical system. Despite the improvement under Conte, doubts remain about right-backs Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty, so a reported move for Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence makes sense after his impressive loan spell at Nottingham Forest.
On the left, with Sergio Reguilon out of favor and heading for the exit door, it’s no surprise Spurs have signed Ivan Perisic on a free transfer from Inter Milan to provide experienced competition for Ryan Sessegnon.
The move for the 33-year-old Croatian allows a large chunk of Tottenham’s money to be spent on a quality centre-back, with Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni looking to be the early frontrunner for Conte and Paratici. Inter team-mate Milan Skriniar could also be on the shortlist as the club held talks with Inter over the Slovakian two years ago, while Villarreal’s Pau Torres is another previously linked with Tottenham.
Midfield has been a major problem for Spurs in recent seasons and the club should look to sign at least two new midfielders, most notably Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Harry Winks, who will all leave this summer.
Christian Eriksen’s possible return on a free transfer is a no-brainer and, like Perisic, cost-effective. But it would be a different story for Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, who would likely prove too expensive, so Conte and Paratici will have to work hard to find a quality central midfielder at a good price. Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been statistically the best-performing player in Serie A this season and he could fill the bill.
In attack, the future of Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura is uncertain, particularly the Dutchman who has not made an impact since joining from PSV Eindhoven, leaving Spurs needing to sign a striker.
The front three of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski are currently untouchable so the club will ideally need to sign a versatile attacker who can fit into any of those positions when needed.
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus is certainly the forward Spurs could use if he is linked with the Brazilian, but he will likely want to leave the Premier League champions to become the star of another team.