Football: Spurs must keep Conte, buy top players to transform into title contenders: Sheringham

Tottenham Hotspur's Italian head coach Antonio Conte during the EPL football match against Leicester City on May 1, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON - Continuity with Antonio Conte and buying top players are what Tottenham need to move from being a Champions League-chasing team into a title contender, says Spurs legend Teddy Sheringham.

The 56-year-old, who scored 124 goals in 236 games for Tottenham, said: "I think he came in and did very well. He had an impact on the team straightaway... his discipline, his enthusiasm and his desire is what Tottenham have missed for quite a while even going back to my time.

"People say we are 'Spursy', which we absolutely hate. It means we are a good skilful team, but a flaky team that doesn't dig in when the going gets tough.

"I see the right mentality from Conte, the Italian grit that I love, and also with a bit of flair as well. He needs another transfer window and then another transfer window after that to build (the team).

"When it's chop and change all the time, no one really knows. You need stability within a football club, and obviously the right man who's instilling the right things about the football club."

Sheringham was speaking to The Straits Times before Tottenham beat Leicester City 3-1 at home on Sunday (May 1) to keep their Champions League qualification hopes alive with four English Premier League games to go.

He was happy that the 52-year-old Italian had seemingly committed to another season with Spurs by branding links to French champions Paris Saint-Germain "fake news" last week

He added: "That's what their top players like Harry Kane and Son Heung-min need to hear - if you're staying, I'm staying as well, let's all go forward together."

However, the former England forward felt that while Kane and Son represented one of Europe's deadliest partnerships with 31 EPL goals this season, and that Dejan Kulusevski (three goals and eight assists in 14 games) and defensive midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur have been solid January signings, Spurs still need to reinforce their squad.

Sheringham felt that Spurs need to make a statement signing, and said: "We need to be in for players like Antonio Rudiger (who has agreed terms with Real Madrid). He looks hard and hungry, he's a beast.

"And Declan Rice, I think the biggest clubs would be out for him. He's making West Ham very, very good at the moment, so if you get him into the Tottenham team, you enhance the team by 20 per cent just by getting one player because he does so much on the football pitch.

"You want that in your players to take the club forward... and not let them go to Liverpool, Manchester City or Chelsea."

  • David Lee's trip is hosted by Spurs' global principal partner AIA. Tottenham players will sign the special edition "AIA Better Lives Fund" shirts worn in the 3-1 win over Leicester, which will be auctioned on in support of AIA Singapore's "Grant A Wish" initiative for disadvantaged youth and their families.
  • There will also be a Facebook livestream auction hosted by Singapore celebrities Dasmond Koh, Xu Bin and Michelle Tay on May 12 to auction Spurs merchandise and more.

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