Antonio Conte & Tottenham
Antonio Conte would, of course, take up the reins at Tottenham recently, following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Italian joined Spurs boasting a very impressive pedigree. Conte would start Juventus’ reign of dominance over Serie A back in 2011/12, before leading them to a further two league titles.
He would then join Chelsea and secure the Premier League title in 2016/17. Then, Conte returned to Italy and put an end to Juve’s dominance over Serie A by winning the league with Inter Milan last season.
So, it is fair to say that Conte knows how to win. He also has a very unique style of play which requires certain types of players.
And, at Tottenham, he has already begun implementing that style, switching Spurs to a 3-4-3 for his first two games in charge.
Now, after taking over midway through a season, Conte is no doubt keen to put his own stamp on this Spurs squad as soon as possible.
Serie A players Antonio Conte should bring to Tottenham
This will likely involve Conte bringing in a couple of his own players during the next two transfer windows.
And, given that Conte is Italian, recently managed in Serie A and has a director – Fabio Paratici – who is also from Italy, it is probably fair to assume that a lot of the Lilywhites’ signings moving forward could come from Serie A.
We already saw Paratici’s influence this past summer, when Cristian Romero and Pierluigi Gollini were brought in from Atalanta. And now, with both Conte and Paratici at the helm, expect even more Serie A-based players to arrive over the coming year.
Who, though, are the stars of the Italian top-flight that Conte and co. should be targeting? Well, 101 have picked out some of the best options below.
The first Serie A player Tottenham should look to target under Antonio Conte is Nicolo Barella.
Whether he is using a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 at Spurs, Conte generally likes one of his central midfielders to perform a box-to-box role.
At Tottenham, there is no doubt hope that record signing Tanguy Ndombele will be able to fill this role.
However, the Frenchman’s stint in England has proven far from impressive to date, and Conte may instead want a more reliable choice.
And in Barella, he would certainly get that. The 24-year-old score three and assisted 13 for Conte’s Inter last term, and he has continued his fine form into the current campaign, too, already scoring one and assisting six in 12 league games.
Barella also shone for Italy at Euro 2020, playing and impressing as one of the Azzurri’s more advanced central midfielders ahead of Jorginho.
Generally, Conte will use a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation, the former of which uses wingers and the latter two strikers and a central attacking midfielder.
Given Spurs’ lack of striking options, it is expected that Conte will stick with the 3-4-3 in north London going forward.
However, though Lucas Moura is a decent option and both Bryan Gil and Steven Bergwijn can operate from the right if needed, Tottenham do not currently have a standout option in that spot.
So, one player that they could perhaps look at is Federico Chiesa. The 24-year-old is a versatile winger who generally impresses most when deployed on the right.
The Italian has scored 17 and assisted 12 for current club, Juventus, and too acted as a standout performer at Euro 2020.
Granted, Chiesa would likely be pretty expensive as there were reports over the summer that Juventus turned down €100m for him, but he would certainly be a huge upgrade for Spurs if they can indeed lure him to England.
Stefan de Vrij
One of the main areas Antonio Conte and co. are likely going to need to address in the near future is centre-back.
The Italian does currently have enough bodies to operate with a three-man defence. But, outside of Cristian Romero – who excelled in a back-three for Atalanta – the Lilywhites do not have that much quality at the back.
Joe Rodon and Japhet Tanganga still have the potential to turn into top-quality centre-backs, but Conte is likely to demand more instant success, rather than waiting two to three years for players to develop.
So, it would make sense for Spurs to target Stefan de Vrij. The 29-year-old has plenty of experience and already knows Conte well, as he was a key member of the Inter side that won the league earlier this year.
The final player whom Tottenham should look to sign from Serie A is Lautaro Martinez. However, there are a couple of things that would likely need to happen for this signing to make sense.
If Conte sticks with a 3-4-3, it seems unlikely that Martinez would want to join, unless, of course, Harry Kane leaves.
If Kane does not leave, Conte would instead likely need to switch to a 3-5-2 to fit Martinez in.
The Argentine, though, excelled in Conte’s 3-5-2 at Inter, forming a great partnership with Romelu Lukaku which saw him score 17 and assist 10 in 38 Serie A outings last term.