Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has revealed that it was the club that “wanted” the signing of Djed Spence but admits he has good potential.
Spurs completed a deal for the England under-21 international on Tuesday with the right-back signing from Middlesbough in a transfer initially worth £12.5m, potentially rising to £20m with add-ons.
Spence helped Nottingham Forest to promotion last season with two goals and four assists in 42 Championship appearances during a season-long loan move from Boro.
Spence is the Premier League club’s sixth signing of the season with Tottenham already signing Fraser Forster, Ivan Perisic, Clement Lenglet, Yves Bissouma and Richarlison .
However, Conte has claimed that despite saying “okay” to the deal, the Spence transfer was more of a club decision.
“Spence is an investment of the club,” Conte said. “The club wanted to do it. I said okay, this player is young but he showed he can become a good, important player for us. The club decided to buy him.”
On Tottenham backing him in the transfer market, Conte added: “The club was very clear with me and said we reached an important achievement and … now we want to continue to grow. To grow together with ambition.
“For the club, it has not been simple to go into the transfer market and sign players for free — like (Ivan) Perisic and (Fraser) Forster — and sign players on loan — like (Clement) Lenglet — and sign players with money — like Richarlison and (Yves) Bissouma and Spence.”
Antonio Conte after signing his SIXTH player this summer 😃 pic.twitter.com/P6thqqk9gv
— GOAL (@goal) July 19, 2022
Conte is hoping to create a team that the rest of the Premier League worry about, he continued: “My target is to try to be competitive. My target is that when the other teams are going to play against Tottenham, they will be, not scared, but a bit worried.
“This is our target. Then I have a group of players that need to have ambition together and to go another step.
“When I arrived in November, I said that if we wanted to try to go up in the table, we would have to go together, to improve the team together, but at the same time, the players have to go to another level. To grow, grow, grow.
“I think we have a young team. We have many players that can play for Tottenham for three or four years together.
“I think we are trying to create a solid foundation, then to go step by step to improve and then in the end to fight for something important.”