Tottenham squad was weakened in January transfer window, claims Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte is cutting a frustrated figure as Tottenham manager (Picture: Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte made the surprise admission that his squad was weakened during the January transfer window, as they got rid of four players and only brought in two.

Spurs let Dele Alli join Everton on a free transfer, while Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil all left on loan deals.

In came Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, both from Juventus, which clearly sees Conte’s squad fall in number.

The former Chelsea boss admits he is not necessarily thrilled with the business last month, describing the outgoing quartet as ‘important players’ for the club.

‘What happened in January was not easy,’ Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

‘We lost four players. Four important players for Tottenham and we brought in only two.

‘So even just in terms of numbers, rather than reinforce the squad, we, on paper, may have weakened it.’

Rodrigo Bentancur arrived at Tottenham during the January transfer window (Picture: Getty Images,)

Conte also seemed to suggest that he did not realise the standard of players he was likely to be signing as Tottenham manager.

The Italian described his two new arrivals as excellent prospects for the future, but said they are unlikely to make swift improvement to the first team, and he has only now realised that he will not be signing more experienced players.

‘Bentancur and Kulusevski are ideal prospects for Tottenham, because Tottenham are seeking young players they can develop and grow, not players who are ready. That is the issue,’ said the former Inter Milan manager.

‘This is the vision and the philosophy of the club. It is inevitable that, if you want to grow quicker and if you want to be competitive more rapidly, you need players with a lot of experience, because they also raise the experience level of the overall team.

‘But I repeat, I have realised now that this is the vision of the club.’

Spurs are back in action on Saturday as they travel to Manchester City attempting to snap a three-match losing streak in the Premier League.

MORE : Jurgen Klopp provides update on Diogo Jota injury suffered in Liverpool win at Inter Milan

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