How Antonio Conte’s Tottenham side could line up next season
Antonio Conte’s decision to stay at Tottenham Hotspur next season after a crunch meeting with Daniel Levy last month appears to have resulted in an extraordinary expenditure of funds from the Spurs board.
Willing to back the manager who brought them Champions League football at the end of the season, Tottenham’s side are expected to look very different at the start of the 2022-23 season than at the end of last season.
Conte demanded a refresh from the squad and it appears that his wish has been granted by the board, something they have failed to grant to Mauricio Pochettino or Jose Mourinho.
The Spurs have been eyeing Antonio Conte this summer after he assured them Champions League football for next season
Fabio Paratici and Conte will go to work this summer to see who would be the best fit for Spurs as they aim to reach the top of the league for the first time since the 1960s.
With Ivan Perisic already confirmed by the club, it turned out on Tuesday that Yves Bissouma is close to him. Negotiations for right-back Djed Spence, who impressed Nottingham Forest in their successful promotion bid last season, continue with his parent club Middlesborough.
With new signings expected to join the existing players who have been handed Spurs Champions League football, Sportsmail shows you how Conte’s side could line up from August 6.
Conte’s title-winning teams, whether at Juventus, Chelsea or, more recently, Inter Milan, are all built on the foundation of a strong and solid backline.
Experience and a solid defense are key to the Conte mantra, and that can be expected at Spurs next season.
Conte opted for the back three of Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Ben Davies last season and it performed admirably for him. The Spurs have conceded just eight goals in their last 10 games of the season, leading local rivals Arsenal to fourth place.
However, Davies’ place could be threatened if Spurs pursue Italy international Alessandro Bastoni.
Alessandro Bastoni remains on Tottenham’s radar as Spurs look to improve on centre-back
The 23-year-old is considered a top target by Spurs and he is a player Conte knows from his time at Inter Milan.
Bastoni would be expected to fill in on the left side of the three-man defence, with Dier in the middle and Romero leading from the right.
The Spurs would be expected to try and hold on to Davies, who would provide suitable cover both in the back three and also the fullback on the left.
Fraser Forster, another Tottenham signing this summer, is unlikely to challenge Hugo Lloris for the goalkeepers’ starting position.
loris; Romero, Animal, Bastonia
Eric Dier (right) has enjoyed a revival of his professional career under Antonio Conte at Spurs
What Antonio Conte’s squad could look like next season if he wants to rebuild the squad
MIDFIELD (WITH WINGS)
Both pundits and Spurs fans have spent a lot of time bemoaning the lack of improvements to their midfield in recent years.
Pochettino has been known to have called for reinforcements in the area on a number of occasions, with the Tottenham chairman refusing to comply with his former manager’s requests.
However, it seems that Conte has granted his wishes in the area and the Spurs are looking for some reinforcements.
Tottenham have agreed a £25m fee with Brighton for midfielder Yves Bissouma
Key to the Italian’s style of play is his fullbacks, who are expected to be just as adept as they go back to their own goal. It is therefore no surprise that Tottenham is moving quickly to secure their star managers in those positions.
At Chelsea, Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso performed that task admirably in Conte’s title-winning 16/17 campaign. Meanwhile, at Inter Milan, Perisic and Achraf Hakimi were the key to their Scudetto win in the 2020-21 season.
Perisic was turned into a competent left-back by Conte himself, so it was no surprise that the Spurs made him their first signing of the summer.
Ivan Perisic signed with Spurs last month and is expected to fill in as left-back next season
Djed Spence, who was considered redundant by Boro, made a deep impression for Nottingham Forest last season
Meanwhile Spence, who played so well there for Steve Cooper’s Forest side, on the right looks close to a move to North London from Middlesborough.
In the centre, Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg impressed Conte from his arrival at Spurs following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo. He will likely keep his place on the side next season as the Spurs will look to bigger and better things.
However, it looks like Spurs will try to get him a new partner with Bissouma’s imminent arrival.
Again, looking at evidence from his time at Chelsea, Conte tends to appreciate two ‘destroyer’ types in the middle. That could pose problems for Rodrigo Bentancur, who may have to play his way back to basics.
expenses; Hojbjerg, Bissouma; Perisic
Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg became one of Antonio Conte’s real lieutenants last season
Despite all the talk of Conte’s revolution in Spurs’ backline, in reality it was the stunning forward line that took them across the line to the top four.
The crucial win at Manchester City was won only by the majesty of Dejan Kulusevski, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane.
Meanwhile, the crucial 3-0 win at home to Arsenal, which saw Tottenham in the top four, left the front three ragged with the Arsenal backline.
Antonio Conte had a significant impact on Harry Kane and his form improved dramatically after the Italian’s arrival
Son’s 23 goals saw him split the golden boot with Mohamed Salah, while Kane’s fortunes took a turn after Conte’s arrival in November 2021.
Tottenham talisman Kane had scored just four times in the league before Christmas. That was followed by 13 goals in the new year.
The arrival of Kulusevski, on an 18-month loan from Juventus with an end-of-season purchase commitment, also ushered in a new and exciting era for the Spurs front line.
Tottenham secured Champions League football on the last day of the 2021-2022 season, thanks in large part to Son Heung-min (centre)
Fabio Paratici drew fresh blood from Juventus: Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski
He immediately joined with success alongside Son and Kane, with notable performances including against Manchester City and Newcastle United.
The performances of the three players in the last few months of the season have been so impressive. It would be a real shock if Tottenham looked at that part of their team.
Kulusevski, Kane, Son
Son Heung-min and Harry Kane have formed an insatiable partnership during their time together at the club