(Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur’s spending in the transfer window is a step in the right direction to improve their squad but there is still a gap between them and their Premier League rivals, manager Antonio Conte said on Friday.
Spurs got their main business done early with the likes of Richarlison joining for a reported fee of 52 million pounds ($60 million), Yves Bissouma from Brighton & Hove Albion for around 25 million pounds and Ivan Perisic on a free from Inter Milan.
But they had a quiet transfer deadline day on Thursday.
“First of all we have to understand in this transfer window we did what the club could do,” Conte told reporters ahead of their Premier League game against Fulham on Saturday.
“We did good things but I have to be honest with you, because I see other squads of top teams, there’s still too much distance. For this reason we have to know we have just started this process to improve the squad.”
Conte said that Bissouma was still a step behind his fellow midfielders Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
“He needs to work, go totally into the idea of football,” Conte said. “The same for Oliver Skipp working with me all of last season.
“I’m pleased with what I’ve seen during the game and we are talking about a player with good skills and strong physically with a good engine.”
Conte said centre back Cristian Romero was back in the squad after overcoming a adductor injury but Lucas Moura and Bryan Gil were still not available for the game against Fulham.
Unbeaten Spurs are third in the league with 11 points from five games while Fulham are eighth.
($1 = 0.8661 pounds)
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)