Antonio Conte says he needs at least two more transfer windows to turn Tottenham into genuine Premier League title challengers.
Spurs have started the season strongly by taking 10 points from a possible 12 after Sunday’s 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest. The London club sit third, level on points with Manchester City and only two points behind early pacesetters, and bitter rivals, Arsenal.
That has fuelled talk of Spurs finishing in the top four again and even sustaining a title challenge until late on in the campaign. Conte has dismissed the latter possibility as not being realistic just yet.
“If you compare to last season, we are more complete,” said the Spurs manager. “But to reach other teams at the top level we need time, patience and transfer markets, at least two transfer markets to reach the same level.”
Spurs have made a host of signings this summer, the most high-profile being those of Richarlison from Everton, Yves Bissouma from Brighton, Ivan Perisic from Internazionale and Clément Lenglet on loan from Barcelona. Asked about the possibility of acquiring more players before the close of the transfer window on Thursday, Conte said: “I spoke with the club and told them my opinion, but if we do something or not it’s OK.
“With the new players, we started to work with them in only one month and a half. And I think at the end my choices were good because we got four good results in the first four games. Now when you have to go and play one game every three days, it’s normal to make rotation, the players to be intelligent to understand that they have to sometimes go on the bench, come in, alternate. And this is the period that the club can understand if we are really, really complete in the squad or maybe we could do better.”
Harry Kane scored both of Spurs’s goals against Forest, making it four goals in his last three appearances for the England forward. He has two years remaining on his contract with the club and Conte is keen to keep him in north London for longer.
“We are talking about an important player for Tottenham and the desire of everybody in the club is to continue to stay with Tottenham and to sign a new contract,” said the Italian before Spurs’s trip to West Ham on Wednesday. “But if you ask me about the details, information, I cannot answer you.”