Following what had been a frustrating start to the 2021-22 campaign, with Tottenham Hotspur showing no genuine signs of improvement under Nuno Espirito Santo, the Portuguese coach was duly sacked after just 17 matches in charge. Wasting absolutely zero time in search of a more appropriate successor, the club moved swiftly to hire Antonio Conte, grabbing the Italian coach before he could consider potential opportunities elsewhere.
Under the leadership of Conte, despite the annoying interruption to momentum of postponed games, Tottenham have faired well and achieved positive results. One draw followed by three straight wins in the Premier League has put Spurs back on track, as they aim to finish inside the top four this season. However, we already know that Conte is far from easy to please, which means he will be equally demanding of the Tottenham board, as he will be of his players.
Conte also tends to prefer tactical systems with three at the back, which are tried and tested, underpinning his excellent record of achievements at both Chelsea and Inter Milan in recent years. Nevertheless, this also means that certain Spurs players don’t meet his requirements, while he will undoubtedly be seeking alternative options in the January transfer window, keen to quickly lay the foundations upon which a successful future can be built.
Can this Tottenham side finish in the top four?
As things currently stand and with the existing squad of players, Tottenham could struggle to fulfil their ambitions of jostling for position amongst the top four, in the quest to secure Champions League football next season. Hence all the speculation around Conte being keen to bring in quality additions, capable of maintaining the sense of momentum the Italian coach has already provided in the Premier League, ignoring the debacle of European competition.
Most of the leading bookmakers agree, Spurs are currently one of three or four teams capable of challenging for fourth spot, amongst the distant chasing pack behind the leading trio formed by Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea. But to save time on searching where to wager, Arabian Betting has produced a comprehensive list of the best football betting sites, covering which online companies offer the most competitively valued odds and offers.
The sternest opponents for Tottenham could be Manchester United, amidst an apparent resurgence in form with Ralf Rangnick at the helm. West Ham United led by David Moyes are also strongly positioned, hoping to fulfil the promise they showed last season before ultimately falling short. North London rivals Arsenal cannot be ignored, even with serious doubts about their consistency, which have returned with mixed results through November and December.
Conte wants additional reinforcements
Given that Conte deployed three at the back in each of his first four Premier League games, it already seems clear he will be looking to add another centre-back in the January window. This has led to inevitable reports that he is interested in signing Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season and renewal talks having stalled. An ideal situation that Conte and Spurs could exploit if the Dane is interested.
Antonio Conte has identified Danish defender Andreas Christensen as the ideal profile to strengthen his defence. The assault is ready to start, a real threat to Juventus and Milan who had also put their eyes on the centre-back. @calciomercatoit #THFC pic.twitter.com/Qdtmk5RG8d— The Spurs Express (@TheSpursExpress) December 12, 2021
Another former club Conte could seek to raid is Inter Milan, amidst their ongoing financial difficulties which actually prompted his departure, even after leading them to the Serie A title. That could add Stefan de Vrij to the list of potential defensive signings, along with his teammate Milan Skriniar, who has regularly linked with Spurs over the last year or so. Either or both would be good additions that Conte could trust.
While the defence is evidently a priority, Conte also hopes to bolster his options in midfield. The current crop of midfielders have largely underperformed, therefore the likes of Dele Alli and Tanguy Ndombele could be offloaded. Houssem Aouar is a talented and versatile option at Lyon, who the French club would be willing to part with for the right offer, given their current financial difficulties. AC Milan star Franck Kessie is a powerful option that will interest Conte, especially after having rejected contract renewal offers.
Ready to ring in the changes
One of the key factors which brought Conte to Tottenham in the first place, his close relationship with sporting director Fabio Paratici will be underlined in the January transfer window. Both appear keen to get the Spurs revival moving at full steam ahead, indicating there will be plenty of activity over the coming weeks, both in terms of departing players and incoming signings. Exciting times given the potential for success Conte can bring this club, especially with the right backing.