In pictures: Tottenham v Norwich
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It is no secret that Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte is not overly impressed by the general quality of his squad. The Italian has made it clear on several occasions that he feels his team can easily be improved upon, and he hasn’t let the recent Covid outbreak derail those plans.
Speaking on Friday, the former Chelsea manager said: “In this moment we’re not thinking about the transfer window, we’ve had many, many problems to face and try to solve.
“It was very difficult to speak about other topics. For sure, in the next days, we’ll try to have a meeting to speak about the situation and see if there’s a way to improve the squad and in which way.
“In this moment, I’m making an evaluation about the whole squad.”
Conte added: “Covid will be a good opportunity for someone to show me they deserve to continue to play for Tottenham.”
But who could Spurs sign in January?
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Having spent the majority of his career working in Italy, it would be no surprise to see Conte add a sprinkling of Serie A talent to his squad next month – starting with Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne.
The Italy international is out of contract at the end of the season and the forward could leave Napoli sooner rather than later considering his agent said that his client is ‘far from reaching an agreement over a new deal’ earlier this week.
Insigne would provide the Spurs attack with an abundance of pace, energy and creativity, and his versatility means that he would also provide cover for striker Harry Kane.
It has been widely reported that the North London outfit are currently winning the race for the 30-year-old, who scored twice at Euro 2020, and he could be an impressive, cut-price coup by Conte.
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Spurs’ defence has been a never-ending dilemma for Conte since his arrival due to injuries, some players not suiting his 3-4-3 system and simply because some players are not up to scratch.
A quick fix for those woes appears to be Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar, who Conte worked with from 2019 to earlier this year at the San Siro.
The Slovakian defender is a ‘no nonsense’ centre-back; he’s sharp to a tackle, powerful in the air and an out and out leader.
CalcioMercato has regularly reported that Skriniar is high on Tottenham’s shopping list, and that interest could be accelerated given how shaky the Tottenham defence has looked since Cristian Romero sustained an injury whilst representing Argentina last month.
England international Jesse Lingard will be on the radar of most top clubs around Europe in January.
The Manchester United attacker is out of contract in the summer after refusing a contract extension offer having rarely featured under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this season, and that pattern has continued under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
Lingard showed his star quality at West Ham in 2020/21 when he scored nine goals in 16 appearances at the London outfit on a short-term loan deal.
The 29-year-old is a hard-working, versatile forward who can play on either flank, a no.10 or even a central midfielder. If Conte is keen to add counter-attacking know-how to Spurs then there may not be a better player available on the cheap than Lingard.
Of course, a major factor that may prevent negotiations is that United may not want to strengthen a direct rival, but they will then have to weigh up whether they are willing to keep hold of the academy product for a few more months and thus not receiving a fee for his services in June.
Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic has asserted himself as one of the most exciting young forwards in world football this season with 15 goals and two assists in 17 appearances.
The Serbian has been linked with a move to all of the ‘Big Six’ as well as other European giants Real Madrid and Juventus. However, all of the aforementioned may have to act quickly as CalcioMercato has reported that Newcastle are preparing an almighty £85million bid for the striker.
The Magpies can splash the cash under their new ownership and need to if they are to beat the drop, but the prospect of working under Serie A hero Conte at a significant project may prove persuasive to Vlahovic if Tottenham table a tempting offer.
Although rarely played in a strike partnership, the arrival of the in-form striker could bring out the best in misfiring Kane and also give Spurs another source of goals in the final third – though he will, of course, come at a cost.
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