According to Matt Law of the Telegraph, there had been behind the scenes transfer chaos at Tottenham Hotspur after the club missed out on two rumoured transfer targets within the space of 24 hours in the January transfer window. Both Adama Traore and Luis Diaz were said to be key targets for Antonio Conte, but Traore finalised a loan move back to Barcelona where he started his career and Diaz preferred a move to Premier League rivals Liverpool. However, with two late signings and an exodus of sorts, it seems that the chaos may finally be over and Antonio Conte wasn’t afraid to question the previous transfer policy at the club.
Transfer Chaos at Tottenham Was Leaving Fans Frustrated
Antonio Conte Questions Previous ‘Mistakes’
Spurs supremo Daniel Levy is well known for being a tough negotiator, with Sir Alex Ferguson once explaining that the Spurs chief was a nightmare to try and do business with. For fans of the North London club, they were starting to question the clubs’ ambition after a number of failed signings in recent years and the now infamous transfer windows in the summer of 2018 and winter window of the 2018/19 season saw them become the first club in Premier League history to make no signings at all in two successive windows. It came at a time when then manager Mauricio Pochettino, had been asking for support with a ‘painful rebuild’ and, finally, in 2022 it still looks as though that rebuild is finally taking place under Conte.
In have come two Juventus players in Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski adding a strong midfielder and tricky winger to the squad with more promised in the summer. But, it has been the outgoings that have raised Conte’s eyebrows. He said in regard to the loans of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil:
“For sure, it was strange to send [three] on loan and sell one player in January because it means something went wrong in the past. 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. It will be very important to not make mistakes in the future because in this moment many teams are higher than us.” (The Guardian)
The comment about past mistakes was cutting and the now departed transfer chief Steve Hitchen will have had little doubt where that jibe was aimed as well as toward Spurs chairman Levy.
There have been arguments, especially from fans, that Levy and multi millionaire owner Joe Lewis have not spent enough money, but in reality that is not where the issue lies, but rather the quality of the recruitment. If you take away the two mentioned transfer windows, Spurs have spent big on certain players. In 2019/20, Tanguy Ndombele became the club’s record signing for a fee of £54 million whilst Ryan Sessegnon, Jack Clarke and Steven Bergwijn also joined the club.
The following season saw Matt Doherty arrive from Wolverhampton Wanderers, Giovani Lo Celso’s loan deal made permanent along with Sergio Reguilon from Real Madrid and Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg joining from Southampton.
Arguably only Reguilon and Hojbjerg have offered anything near to value for money and with the others leaving as well as the permanent departure of Dele Alli to Everton, it isn’t too hard to see why Conte has made his comments.
An End to Transfer Chaos at Tottenham Has Arrived
Whilst the signing of two players may not suddenly rebuild this Tottenham squad, the departures are a key sign that Conte will not tolerate any passengers and with his already strong relationship with Paratici, they may well be able to end the transfer chaos and drag Tottenham back to being a top four team and start focusing on titles as opposed to being nearly men. There is much work to be done but the departure of Hitchen and certain players should be seen as a move in the right direction at least.
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