Replace Lloris, keep Spence & more: How Tottenham must overhaul squad


ntonio Conte’s denouncement of his Tottenham players in his final press conference was a direct attack on their attitudes and professionalism, as well as the culture of the club.

If Conte is to be believed, Spurs need a complete overhaul in the summer under whoever succeeds him — but was he right? Daniel Levy‘s 12th permanent manager will inherit a group which has been tailored to Conte’s specific system over three transfer windows and remains lopsided and a little stale, and will need to continue the club’s rebuild which began way back in 2019.

But there is also still plenty of talent at Spurs — and the root of many of their problems this season was Conte himself, rather than the players. Standard Sport assesses the state of Spurs’s squad ahead of a crucial summer under another new coach…

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Hugo Lloris‘s contract runs until the end of next season but the captain’s time as No1 is surely coming to an end after nearly a decade at Tottenham.

Although the 36-year-old maintained Conte’s full support in public, and is likely to return to the side under Cristian Stellini when fit, mistakes have crept into Lloris’s game, proving costly in a number of big matches. Though still a good shot-stopper, he is also unsuited to playing out from the back.

One of Spurs’s priorities under Conte’s successor will be a new goalkeeper, and it is doubtful if Lloris would want to stay on as an understudy. A return to Nice or elsewhere in Ligue 1, or a swansong in MLS, are possibilities for France’s World Cup-winning captain.

Fraser Forster, 35, has proved a solid deputy for Lloris, and even returned to the England squad last week, so is likely to see out his contract for another year.

Keep: Forster

Sell: Lloris

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The new manager will inherit a defence full of relics of the Mauricio Pochettino era and geared towards Conte’s 3-4-3 system.

The right side is encouragingly set, with Emerson Royal being joined by Pedro Porro, who has adapted well to English football in the past couple of months since his arrival from Sporting. Djed Spence is promising and should get more opportunities under a new manager when he returns from loan at Rennes.

On the left flank, however, Ivan Perisic, Ryan Sessegnon and incoming summer signing Destiny Udogie are all more suited to playing as wing-backs and Ben Davies’s best position is in a central three. Perisic was a Conte signing and may assess his options in the summer.

Eric Dier returned to the England squad under Conte but would need to prove himself as a centre-half in a back four, while Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga have done little to suggest they are of the required quality in any system.

Sergio Reguilon and Joe Rodon have failed to impress during loan spells elsewhere this season, and Clement Lenglet is on loan at Spurs from Barcelona. Conte’s successor is likely to build his back line around Cristian Romero but will surely need at least two new defenders in the summer, particularly if they have designs on switching to a back four.

Keep: Porro, Emerson, Spence, Romero, Dier, Davies, Udogie.

Future Uncertain: Sessegnon, Perisic, Sanchez, Tanganga, Reguilon, Rodon, Lenglet.



A big challenge for the new manager will be to get the best out of Yves Bissouma and lessen Spurs’s dependency on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Rodrigo Bentancur has been a tremendous signing, perfectly suited to English football and most systems, but there is a question over how and when he will recover from an ACL injury.

Oliver Skipp and Pape Matar Sarr are very promising but the latter would benefit from a loan in English football. Spurs, though, have still not replaced Christian Eriksen and need more midfield creativity in the form of an established lock-picker and tempo-setter, while a progressive new manager might also want a new press-resistant holding player.

Of the returning loanees, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso have always felt like poor fits, while Harry Winks has benefitted from playing in a fresh environment in Italy.

Keep: Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Bissouma, Sarr, Skipp.

Future uncertain: Ndombele, Lo Celso, Winks.

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Harry Kane‘s future remains unresolved and will have a huge bearing on Tottenham’s summer business.

Assuming Kane stays put, Spurs are well-stocked up front but need one or two more forwards, with Lucas Moura set to leave on a free transfer and Arnaut Danjuma unlikely to sign permanently as it stands, having barely played since joining on loan from Villarreal in January.

Dejan Kulusevski has said his future is not linked to Conte’s and will make his loan permanent in the summer, while a key job of the new manager will be returning Heung-min Son and Richarlison to form.

Bryan Gil, currently on loan back at Sevilla, may interest a new manager but is happier in Spain and better suited physically to playing in La Liga.

Keep: Kane, Richarlison, Kulusevski, Son.

Future uncertain: Lucas, Danjuma, Gil.

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