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5 Tottenham keep or sell decisions as Conte prepares for first transfer window

Antonio Conte has overseen an improvement at Tottenham Hotspur, but the upcoming transfer window will give him an opportunity to shape the squad for years to come

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Tottenham Hotspur haven’t always dipped into the transfer market mid-season, but when they have done so it has often followed the appointment of a new manager.

Jose Mourinho used his first window in charge to bring Steven Bergwijn to north London in January 2020, while Harry Redknapp spent around £50m on new recruits in January 2009 after replacing Juande Ramos a few months prior.

Bergwijn isn’t the only member of the current squad to join Spurs in the winter, with Dele Alli and Lucas Moura both arriving midway through Premier League campaigns under Mauricio Pochettino.

New manager Antonio Conte has been linked with a number of players after taking over from Nuno, but Spurs may need to sell if they want to strengthen, having added Bryan Gil, Emerson Royal and Pape Sarr to their ranks over the summer.

What would be a dream window for Tottenham? Have your say in the comments section

Conte is gearing up for his first transfer window as Spurs manager
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Conte’s last January window at Chelsea was a busy one, with Emerson, Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud all joining the Blues.

Diego Costa left for Atletico Madrid in the same window, while Kenedy and Michy Batshuayi were among a flurry of players sent out on loan.

Spurs’ highest-profile transfer last January saw goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga leave on loan, but they could face a busier month this time around.

Here are five of the players whose future will need to be decided by Conte as he aims to keep up a top-four challenge.

Joe Rodon

After filling in at times last season, Rodon has found himself at the back of the centre-back queue this term.

A change of manager hasn’t brought a change in fortunes for the Welshman, whose only minutes under Conte came in the Europa Conference League defeat against NS Mura.

It’s been even more of a struggle in the league, where he hasn’t played since the September defeat at Crystal Palace under Nuno.

Rodon has barely featured in his second Spurs season
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With no more European responsibilities, it’s hard to see Rodon getting much of a look-in, though it might be tough for Spurs to get much of a return on the £11m they paid to Swansea for his services.

However, with Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion reportedly sniffing around, now could be the best time for Spurs to cut their losses.

Verdict: sell

Harry Kane

Kane has recovered from a slow start in the league
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For much of this season, it has looked like Spurs made a mistake by refusing to cash in on Kane over the summer.

The England captain didn’t score in the Premier League until October, having struggled to replicate his international form after a move to Manchester City failed to materialise.

However, the last few games under Conte have seen him return to something closer to his old form.

Kane’s goal against Liverpool showed the attacking instincts we have come to expect from him, while a Boxing Day strike against Crystal Palace saw him net in back-to-back league games for the first time since early April.

Spurs are unlikely to get offers anywhere near the numbers touted over the summer, given City’s success without a conventional number nine, and many will be happy to see him stick around.

Verdict: keep

Jack Clarke

Clarke has played just one first team game all season
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Midway through his third season as a Tottenham player, Clarke is no nearer to the first team than he was when he arrived.

The former Leeds United man has played just 45 minutes of first team football this term, and remains firmly part of the under-23s squad.

Clarke showed some promise on loan at Stoke City last season, and another loan could put him in the shop window over the summer.

With the 21-year-old out of contract in 2023, though, it could be time to get him off the books if a reasonable offer comes in.

Verdict: sell

Harry Winks

Winks has shown his value to the team under Conte
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Before Conte came in, Winks’ time at Tottenham looked to be more or less up.

The academy graduate had fallen down the pecking order, starting just once under Nuno, and his last England appearance – in November 2020 – felt like a lifetime ago.

Newcastle United had been linked with a move for the 25-year-old, whose stock had begun to fall under Jose Mourinho before the trend continued this term.

Now, though, he looks like a man reborn, returning to the starting XI in the league under Conte and reminding fans what he can offer to the team.

Winks might not be the first name on the teamsheet, with Oliver Skipp arguably overtaking him as the most important academy man among Spurs’ midfield options, but he has begun looking like a useful option once more.

If Dele Alli leaves in January, as has been suggested, then it could well be a mistake to let Winks follow him out the door.

Verdict: keep

Steven Bergwijn

Bergwijn has been linked with a move to the Netherlands
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AFP via Getty Images)

Bergwijn’s goal in the Carabao Cup win over West Ham was a reminder of the impact he can make, but it may have come too late.

The Dutchman might feel he hasn’t been given a fair shot in his two years at the club, with just 24 Premier League starts to his name.

Ajax have been linked with a swoop for the 24-year-old, who was not Mourinho’s first choice when a big-money move from PSV was sanctioned.

He is one of a handful of players with resale value who is not a regular starter, so a sale could be important in freeing up funds for Conte to go after his own targets, but it would need to be a permanent sale rather than a loan exit.

Verdict: sell

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