How Conte's Tottenham could line up before the transfer window

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald 3 Nov 2021 11:28 GMT 3 min read
Antoni Conte, Inter, 2020/21

Antonio Conte was appointed as the new manager of Tottenham this week, replacing Nuno Espirito Santo.

Nuno's position arguably became untenable following a dismal performance against Manchester United in which they lost 3-0 at home in the Premier League.

During the game there was a poisonous atmosphere in North London, as Harry Kane was eventually booed, the overall performance was booed, while Nuno received the worst reception of all when he opted to take off Lucas Moura for Steven Bergwijn - a decision that proved universally unpopular in the stands.

Tottenham came close to appointing Conte in the summer only for talks to break down which is ultimately what led to the hiring of Nuno, who was further down their list of desired candidates.

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It is reported that the Italian will be given £100 million to spend in the January transfer window to bring freshen up the stale Tottenham squad.

Various names from Serie A have been mentioned such as Stefan de Vrij, Matthijs de Ligt and Dusan Vlahovic.

For the next couple of months, however, he will need to work with the current underperforming squad and mould the starting XI in his image.

So, with the players he has, how will he line up in November and December?

Conte's potential starting XI

Conte is famed for deploying a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 formation in each of the club's he has managed, and with tremendous success, too.

So, expect Tottenham to quickly change from their usual 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 to three at the back and two attacking wing-backs.

Hugo Lloris will start in goal.

As for the defence, Conte is not blessed with an abundance of options, good ones in particular.

Cristian Romero is sure to be a trusted lieutenant at the back, while Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez could make up the other positions in the back three for now. Don't be surprised if Conte identifies the back three as an area for improvement in the transfer window, however.

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Sergio Reguilon represents a good option at wing-back on the left, while Emerson Royal will likely be deployed on the right.

Unfortunately for Conte, he won't have an Achraf Hakimi in that role this season.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will likely be the first choice central midfielder, with the position next to him up for grabs.

Tanguy Ndombele is not a Conte player as he relies more on flair than hard work, while the jury is still out on the talents of Harry Winks and Oliver Skipp.

Giovani Lo Celso could play, but it really could be any of the above next to Hojbjerg until Conte brings in someone else.

Dele Alli has been accused in the past of being lazy, famously by Jose Mourinho, and Conte will not stand for that so don't expect him to be involved to a high degree.

Lucas Moura should be selected behind the front two of Heung-min Son and Harry Kane.