Conte: Selling record signings proves Tottenham ‘made mistakes’ in past

Dan Butterfield
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has admitted that the club selling their record signings is proof they have made mistakes in the past.

Record signing Tanguy Ndombele returned to Lyon on an initial loan deal, Giovani Lo Celso joined Villarreal on loan and summer signing Bryan Gil made the loan move to Valencia.


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Dele Alli also left the club, joining Everton on a free transfer that could rise up to £40 million.

The quartet were replaced by Juventus duo Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski, with the latter joining on a loan deal with an obligation to buy.

When asked about the new signings, Conte revealed they will be available for Spurs’ FA Cup clash with Brighton on Saturday.

“The two players are fit and for this reason tomorrow they are available, for sure to start the game is not right because they need to work with the team for a period. They can come in to help us a lot.”

On Kulusevski: “He is a good player, he is very young, he is a great talent and he can play like a number 10 with the strikers but at the same time he has the potential to play wing-back on the right, he has good quality.

“He likes to attack, he is good on a one vs one, to create chances for team-mates. A good signing for us.

On the clubs January business, Conte added: “I think the club tried to do the best and you know very well that January is not simple, it’s not easy and I think the club tried to do the best. It’s not simple and then to sign players you don’t have a lot of options. That’s it.

“Yeah but I think we signed two new players. Rodrigo and Dejan and they are the right prospect of following Tottenham philosophy. Young talented players to improve and they are important players for the future but you need time to do this.

“For the players who went out on loan it was right. For sure it was strange to send out on loan four players and one transfer in January, it showed something went wrong in the past.

“Maybe there were some mistakes in the past. You have to buy players to reinforce your team but if you send away players that you bought in the last two or three years it means you did something wrong in the past.”

Alli had struggled in recent years after bursting onto the scene when he joined from MK Dons and Conte believes the move away from Spurs is a good deal for all parties.

“With Dele I think it was a good decision for the club and the player. I think Dele needed to have another experience and another challenge in his life.

“I want to thank him for the time we worked together but I think it was good for the club and the player to take this decision. Good luck to Dele and the other players who went on loan.”