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Conte criticises Spurs' transfer history after offloading four high-profile players

The Italian claims that the club made ‘big mistakes’ that cannot be repeated.

Spurs manager Antonio Conte.
Spurs manager Antonio Conte.
Image: PA

TOTTENHAM HEAD COACH Antonio Conte passed a scathing judgment on his club’s recent history in the transfer market, saying they made “big mistakes” that cannot be repeated.

Spurs offloaded four high-profile players on deadline day, including their two most expensive buys and one they bought for £25million in the summer.

Club record signing Tanguy Ndombele, who cost £55million in 2019, returned to Lyon on loan while £42million signing Giovani Lo Celso headed to Villarreal for the rest of the season.

Bryan Gil, who only arrived in the summer, headed to Valencia on loan until the end of the campaign while Dele Alli signed for Everton on an initial free transfer, with add-ons that could go up to £40million.

Conte said it was “strange” and shows that Spurs got their recruitment wrong.

“It was strange because it means something went wrong in the past,” he said. “It was strange, I repeat in January to send four on loan, and sell one player.

“It means maybe in the past, you have to see what you did. And maybe to understand that there were some mistakes in the past.

“Because usually you have to buy players to reinforce your team. But if you send away players on loan you bought in the last two or three years, it means maybe you did something wrong in the past.

tottenham-hotspur-v-chelsea-premier-league-tottenham-hotspur-stadium Dele Source: PA

“Honestly, before arriving at Tottenham, to read the list of players you have in the squad, I considered all the players are important players, no? Because Ndombele we paid a lot for and it was the same for Lo Celso and Gil.

“Then only when you’re in the situation, you understand very well which is the best solution for the club and for the players in this moment.

Conte said it was “strange” and shows that Spurs got their recruitment wrong.

“It was strange because it means something went wrong in the past,” he said. “It was strange, I repeat in January to send four on loan, and sell one player.

“It means maybe in the past, you have to see what you did. And maybe to understand that there were some mistakes in the past.

“Because usually you have to buy players to reinforce your team. But if you send away players on loan you bought in the last two or three years, it means maybe you did something wrong in the past.

“Honestly, before arriving at Tottenham, to read the list of players you have in the squad, I considered all the players are important players, no? Because Ndombele we paid a lot for and it was the same for Lo Celso and Gil.

“Then only when you’re in the situation, you understand very well which is the best solution for the club and for the players in this moment.

“Usually you buy players to reinforce your team, you don’t lose players after one, two or three years.

“For this reason, we have to pay more attention in the future when we go into the market to to sign players. It becomes of fundamental importance. Otherwise, when you try to improve the quality of your team, you drop the quality of your team.

“We know very well there are many teams ahead of us. To catch up with them we need time and patience to work hard. Especially in the transfer market, we have to make not big mistakes.”

Conte has relayed his thoughts to the club and – with Spurs trying to bridge the gap to teams above them – says such mistakes cannot be made again in the future.

He used the arrival of Gil as an example of a bad signing, saying the Spanish winger, although talented, does not fit the profile of a Premier League player.

The Italian said: “In this moment, for sure this league is very tough. This league is different. If you compare this league with other leagues, you play another sport here.

“For this reason when you go to sign a new player, you have to consider many aspects. Not only one aspect, if he shoots well or makes an assist, you have to consider a lot of situations because this league is very difficult.

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“The impact of this league is not simple. It’s not simple. For this reason, the market, before signing a player, you have to check many aspects and not going on emotional things.

“This is very important and I hope I transferred my thoughts to my club because I repeat, I have my vision. I’m here to try to help my club to improve.

“In my experiences in the past, I have built good structure, good teams that have lasted over time. Also without me, also without me.

“It means maybe if I tell something and have a vision, I see the situation. Here we need to build, we need to build a good structure and create a good foundation.

“It will be very important to not make mistakes in the future, because in this moment many teams are higher than us and for this reason, to catch up with them, we have to reduce the mistakes. We have to reduce them, have a vision and follow this line.”

Spurs did bring in Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur during the transfer window, both arriving from Juventus, which Conte says improves his squad.

They will both be involved against Brighton in Saturday’s FA Cup tie, but will not start.

“For sure, the squad is now more complete,” Conte said.

“We tried to fill the right role with one midfielder in Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski can play as a No10 and also he can play as a wing-back.”

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