Tottenham boss Antonio Conte claims the January transfer window was “not easy” for his club and that his squad was technically “weakened”.
The Italian was desperate for reinforcements last month but, after the club missed out on deals for Adama Traore and Luis Diaz, they only brought in Juventus pair Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur on deadline day.
On the same day Conte saw the club’s two most expensive players – Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso – leave on loan, with Dele Alli joining Everton on a free transfer and Bryan Gil going to Valencia less than six months after his £25million arrival from Sevilla.
In an interview with Sky Sport Italia, Conte said: “I saw some situations from the outside that could be developed, but when you get into it, you realise something…
“What happened in January is not easy. Four players left in January. Four important players for Tottenham, two have arrived. So even numerically instead of reinforcing yourself you may have, on paper, weakened.”
Conte has been backed with ready-made signings at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan but believes that will not be the case at Spurs.
He added: “It is inevitable that in January it is very difficult to get two players like Bentancur and Kulusevski to sign who, I repeat, are the ideal prospects for Tottenham. Because Tottenham is looking for young players, players to be developed, not ready players. That is the issue.
“The vision, the philosophy of the club is this. It is inevitable that if you want to grow faster and if you want to be competitive more quickly you need players with a lot of experience because they also lead to an increase in experience in your team.
“But then again, the vision of the club I realised is this and will continue to be this.”
Spurs have now lost three Premier League games on the bounce, and Conte will be hoping he can welcome Eric Dier back to sure things up at the back for the clash against Manchester City on Saturday.
“No, unfortunately he’s not fit. For sure, he’s a big loss for us,” Conte said ahead of the Wolves game. “He needs a bit more time to recover. I hope to have him available for the next game, away at City.”