Antonio Conte’s Tottenham in-tray: First moves new Spurs boss must make from Harry Kane to transfer targets

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Antonio Conte has officially taken over as Tottenham boss, with the focus on Thursday’s Europa Conference League match at home to Vitesse Arnhem and Sunday’s trip to Everton in the Premier League.

The Italian will immediately be expected to improve performances after Spurs ranked in the bottom three of the top-flight for a whole host of metrics under Nuno Espirito Santo, while in the medium and long-term he will be tasked with returning the club to the Champions League and a position of challenging for silverware.

Spurs’ problems were bigger than Nuno Espirito Santo but there is more than enough quality in the current squad, which has lacked a progressive and motivated head coach for the best part of two years.

Standard Sport takes a closer look at Conte’s Tottenham in-tray...

Watch: Antonio Conte appointed new Tottenham head coach

Install a coherent tactical plan

Conte is best associated with a back three which transformed Chelsea’s title-winning side of 2016-17, but he will use the system which best fits his squad.

There is reason to think Spurs are well-suited to his preferred system, though. Cristian Romero won Serie A defender of the year honours as part of a back three last season, while Japhet Tanganga and Ben Davies are good fits as right and left centre-halves, respectively.

Sergio Reguilon and Emerson Royal would work well as wing-backs, although perhaps Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn or Ryan Sessegnon could be Conte's new Victor Moses.

In midfield, both Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso would benefit from having an extra defender behind them, while Harry Kane and Heung-min Son would form a potent front two.

Get Kane firing

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Conte transformed Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan, making him into the world-class centre-forward he is today, and one of his first jobs will be to shake some life into Kane, who has scored just one League goal this season and was a shadow of his best self under Nuno.

Conte’s arrival will immediately transform the power dynamic within the squad and, like Mourinho, he is a big enough coach to command Kane’s respect, which was not true of Nuno.

The England captain should improve straightaway in a more functioning team but Conte will have work to do to restore Kane’s motivation and fitness, as he did for Lukaku.

Bring back the fringe

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Both Nuno and Mourinho presided over fractured dressing rooms, with squad players often demotivated and lacking commitment.

Conte will have no truck for passengers and one of his first jobs will be to create a spirit of togetherness at Spurs and potentially cast out those who do not buy into his methods.

The likes of Dele Alli and Harry Winks, who were underperforming and out of favour under both Mourinho and Nuno, can no longer hide behind their manager’s shortcomings and will need to improve in performances and attitude, or risk being sidelined again – this time for good.

Transfer targets

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Spurs are thought to have made a number of concessions to convince Conte to accept the job at the second time of asking, and the manager is expected to have money to spend to reshape the squad in January and beyond.

While Conte is a pragmatist, who will improve his current players, there is no area of the squad where he will not see the potential for improvement. A back-up striker for Kane is likely to be a key priority, with Dusan Vlahovic a potential January target, as well as a new centre-half and midfield creator.

Stefan de Vrij, Franck Kessie and Marcelo Brozović are the other names being linked with Spurs by the excited Italian media on Tuesday.

Watch: Antonio Conte - In profile

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