Which positions are Tottenham targeting in the summer transfer window? What has Antonio Conte said? And what do the stats say?
Which positions are Tottenham targeting?
Sky Sports News’ Paul Gilmour:
Following the news that Tottenham have put in £ 150m of equity funds into the club, the Spurs are clearly backing Antonio Conte in the transfer market this summer.
They will target several positions including goalkeeper, center-back, wing-back, central midfielder and a striker. As many as six or seven players could arrive. They will need to find the right balance with homegrown 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 shift from recent times when Spurs targeted younger players.
There are some at the club who feel it’s inaccurate they didn’t spend in the past but there is an acknowledgment they didn’t always get recruitment right.
Fabio Paratici can do no wrong at the club currently. Additions of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski have given the belief that they are finally getting it right in this area.
Extensive homework is being carried out on player ability and character. Spurs recently rejected the chance to sign one talented Premier League player because their research highlighted concerns he could be a disruptive influence.
What do the stats say about Tottenham?
Conte wants attacking returns from his wing-backs. During his time at Chelsea, only three players had more goals than left wing-back Marcos Alonso.
The Italian is trying to create a similar style of play at Tottenham, with Ryan Sessegnon, Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty ranking first, third and fourth, respectively, for most touches in the opposition box per 90 for defenders since he arrived.
However, Doherty and Reguilon have the highest expected goals (xG) per 90 for defenders since his appointment, his wing-backs have only scored five goals combined. Furthermore, Reguilon and Doherty have started only 13 and nine of Conte’s 26 games in charge, respectively.
What has manager Antonio Conte said?
Discussing his own future – which will impact summer incomings – Antonio Conte said in May: “I’m under contract until next summer. I signed for one year and seven months. I enjoyed a lot of my time at Tottenham because, I repeat, for me it was a big challenge.
“It’s very, very difficult to reach a place in the Champions League. I have to consider this a really big, big achievement for me and for my players. And also for the club to consider this a big achievement … after three years Tottenham is able to play again in the Champions League.
. I want to consider this qualification like a trophy. In my mind, my heart and my head I know what we did in these seven months. Me, my staff and the players. I want to celebrate and we’ll have time to speak with the club about everything.
“Now there’s a lot of emotions in my mind and my heart, for me, for the club and for everybody.
“For this reason, it’ll be very good to rest for four or five days and then have a good meeting with the club to find the best possible solution.”
What should Tottenham do this summer?
Sky Sports football journalist Declan Olley:
It is shaping up to be an exciting summer for Tottenham with the club backing Conte as they look to revamp a squad that can challenge on all fronts next season.
New wing-backs on both the right and left sides will be a priority for the Italian, with those positions fundamental to his tactical system. Despite improving under Conte, doubts still remain over right wing-backs Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty so a reported move for Middlesbrough’s Grandfather Spence makes sense following his impressive loan spell at Nottingham Forest.
On the left side, with Sergio Reguilon out of favor and heading towards the exit door, it is no surprise to see Spurs sign 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 top-quality center-back, with Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni appearing to be the early frontrunner for Conte and Paratici. Inter team-mate Milan Skriniar could also be on the shortlist, with the club having held talks with Inter over the Slovakian two years agowhile Villarreal’s Pau Torres is another that has previously been linked with Tottenham.
Midfield has been a major issue for Spurs in recent seasons and the club should be looking to sign at least two new midfielders, especially with Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Harry Winks all set to leave this summer.
The potential return of Christian Eriksen on a free transfer is a no-brainer and, like Perisic, is cost-effective. But it would be a different story for Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, who would probably prove too expensive, so Conte and Paratici are going to have to work hard to find a top-class central midfielder at good value. Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was statistically the top-performing player in Serie A this season and he could fit the bill.
In attack, the futures of Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura are uncertain, especially the Dutchman who has failed to make an impact since joining from PSV Eindhoven, so Spurs will need to bring in a forward player.
The front three of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski are untouchable right now so ideally the club needs to sign a versatile attacker who can fit into any of those positions when called upon.
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus is certainly the forward Spurs could do with having been linked to the Brazilian, but he is likely to want to leave the Premier League champions to become the star man at another team.