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‘It means something went wrong in the past’ – Conte discusses Spurs January transfer business

Antonio Conte has discussed Tottenham’s January transfer window business and says the club’s activity ‘means something went wrong in the past.’

The North Londoners were amongst the busiest Premier League sides during the winter window, securing deadline day deals for Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus, in addition to allowing a number of players to leave.

 

Tangy Ndombele and Dele Alli were among the high-profile departures in January and, speaking ahead of Spurs‘ FA Cup fourth round tie with Brighton on Saturday, Conte believes their business means mistakes have been made in recent years, both on and off the field.

“I think we signed two new players, [Rodrigo] Bentancur and [Dejan] Kulevski. I think these two players are the right prospects for Tottenham philosophy,” he told his pre-match press conference. “Young players, talented players to develop and improve. They are important players for the future.

“We know very well that we need time to do. For the philosophy of Spurs, these are good signings for us.

“About the players who went on loan, they need to play more games. It was right for the club and the players. These players need to play more games. For sure it was strange to send on loan, sell a player in January transfer.

“It means something went wrong in the past. It was strange to let players go in January on loan, and one player to sell. It means in the past we have to see what you did maybe to understand there was some mistakes in the past. You have to buy a player to enforce your team but if you send away players you bought on loan for the last two, three years it means you have done something wrong in the past.”

Conte discussed allowing a number of senior stars to leave during the winter window, with both Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil joining Ndombele and Alli in finalising an exit from the club.

The Italian reiterated that the high turnover of players – including recent signings – is ‘not normal’ and believes Spurs must show greater diligence when it comes to future recruitment.

“They are important players. N’Dombele we paid a lot for; the same with Lo Celso and Gil. For sure to lose four players in January I repeat, it’s not normal. We share the decision with the club and the players. I repeat it means something went wrong in the past.

“Normally you lose a player after one or three years. For this reason we have to pay more attention in the future when we go into the market about the choice of the players. It becomes a fundamental importance if we want to enforce the team otherwise you drop the quality of your team.

“For sure now the squad is more complete. If we had an injury I was in trouble.”

Conte also discussed his future plans for the club and says he is keen to ‘build a good foundation’ as Spurs look to improve and challenge the Premier League’s best sides.

“I am here to try to help the club improve,” he said. “In the past I have built good structures and good teams that last over time. Here we need to build a good structure and build a good foundation and it will be very important not to make mistakes in the future.

“In this moment many teams are ahead of us and for this reason and for us to catch up we have to reduce the mistakes, have a vision and to follow this line.”

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