Spurs on track to improve squad but rivals ahead, Conte says

Tottenham Hotspur’s spending in the transfer window is a step in the right direction to improve their squad, but there’s still a gap between them and their Premier League rivals, manager Antonio Conte said on Friday.

Spurs settled their core business early on with the likes of Richarlison joining for a reported fee of £52m ($60m), Brighton & Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma for around £25m and Ivan Perisic on a free transfer from Inter Milan .

But they had a quiet transfer deadline day on Thursday.

“First of all, we have to understand that we did what the club could do in this transfer window,” Conte told reporters ahead of their Premier League game against Fulham on Saturday.

“We’ve done good things, but I have to be honest with you because I see other squads from top teams, there’s still too much distance. Because of that, we need to know that we have just started this process of improving the squad.”

Conte said Bissouma is still a step behind fellow midfielders Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

“He has to work, fully commit to the idea of ​​football,” said Conte. “The same goes for Oliver Skipp, who worked with me all last season.

“I’m happy with what I saw during the game and we’re talking about a player with good skills and physically strong with a good motor.”

Conte said centre-back Cristian Romero is back in the squad after recovering from an adductor injury but Lucas Moura and Bryan Gil are still unavailable for the Fulham game.

Unbeaten Spurs are third in the league with 11 points from five games while Fulham are eighth.

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