Antonio Conte has revealed he found it ‘strange’ that Tottenham had to sell or loan so many expensive players on transfer deadline day, insisting the club have to be smarter in the market.
Dele Alli ended his seven-year stay at Spurs with a permanent move to Everton, record signing Tanguy Ndombele rejoined Lyon on loan, and Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil made temporary switches back to La Liga.
Spurs did manage to bring in Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur before the deadline, but Conte made a strong point about how there have been prior failures from the club in the transfer market.
“About the players who went out on loan, they need to play more games, it was right for both sides. For sure, it was strange to send on loan four players and sell one in January. It showed something wrong happened in the past,” Conte said ahead of Spurs’ FA Cup tie with Brighton.
“It means maybe in the past, you have to see what you did. Maybe you have to understand there were some mistakes in the past. You have to buy players to reinforce your team but if you send away players that you bought in the last two or three years it means maybe you did something wrong in the past.”
Conte was then asked about the future of Gil in particular, who struggled to adjust to the pace of the English game in the first half of the season and has joined Valencia for the rest of the campaign.
“I like to tell the truth. We are talking about a really good player, he has good quality. He understands football quickly and in this moment for sure this league is very tough,” Conte said.
“If you compare this league with other leagues, you play another sport here. When you go to sign a new player, you have to consider many aspects. Not if he shoots well or makes an assist. You have to consider a lot of situations. You can be good with quality, but you have to be strong physically. You have to run a lot, to be resilient.
“I have my vision and I am here to help the club improve. In the past, I have built good structure and teams that have lasted over time, also without me.
“We need to build a good structure and good foundations. Many teams are ahead of us. To catch up with them, we have to reduce the mistakes.”