Conte delivers Tottenham team news ahead of Chelsea clash
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Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has warned Harry Kane that he will face competition for the centre-forward role in a clear admission that he wants chairman Daniel Levy to sign a striker this month. Conte is understood to be targeting a couple of signings in the January transfer window and a forward could be added to his squad.
Kane has endured a tough season despite a recent upturn in form.
The England captain scored just one Premier League goal before December. A slightly better run in recent weeks has seen him score three times in four league appearances.
Spurs have long struggled to sign suitable back-up to Kane, with the likes of Vinvent Janssen and Carlos Vinicius passing through the club.
However, Conte hopes that a striker can be signed this month as part of the north Londoners’ transfer business.
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The 52-year-old has seemingly been promised funds despite Spurs shelling out over £60million on summer arrivals.
Conte replaced Nuno Espirito Santo in November and has overseen an improvement in results, with the club on the cusp of the Premier League’s top four.
And now, the Italian has warned Kane that another striker will be signed because he wants two players for each position.
“I think that especially in this league, because the level is very high and you have to play a lot of games, if you want to have ambition, to be competitive, to fight for something important, you have to have 20 [outfield] players,” Conte said ahead of Spurs’ Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea.
“Two players in every role. For sure, as a coach it’s very difficult to decide to keep Harry on the bench, but at the same time, when you play the way we played in the last period – six games in 17 days – every coach has to have the possibility to make rotations and don’t drop so much the level.
“Otherwise it’s difficult for the coach to make rotations because you want the best, but you have to know that if you want to be competitive, you need a couple of players for every role.
“Between the player who usually plays, and the other player, the gap has to be not so big in every role. This is a problem for all the teams.”
Should Spurs not sign a striker, Conte has suggested that winger Steven Bergwijn could provide back-up to Kane.
That is despite the Dutchman being linked with a return to Ajax. According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, the winger could seal a transfer to his former club, with a £15m bid already made.
“It’s not easy. For sure it’s not easy. In this moment, I think in case Harry has a problem – and I hope that never happens, honestly – there’s Steven Bergwijn, [saying:] ‘I can play at number nine’,” he said.
“He has the right characteristics to play as a number nine.
“I think it’s not simple to find a specific number nine, but if you’re unable to find a situation to buy players for the moment you want to rest Harry, you can take the best decision to play with a good player.”
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