Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham tipped to axe three big-name players with ‘a lot to prove’ after Conte reflection

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte during their 2-1 victory over Leeds United

Tottenham Hotspur have been tipped to undergo a mass “clearout” in January by one of their former players, who named three stars particularly at risk of leaving.

Expectations are beginning to build about Tottenham’s transfer activity ahead of the winter window. The appointment of Antonio Conte as head coach recently has only heightened hopes of a busy window. The Italian has been demanding in the transfer market wherever he has been.

There are several areas of the Spurs squad that could do with upgrading. But there is a feeling that they may have to offload some players before they can focus on bringing others in.

Many of the fringe members of Conte’s squad have not taken their chances to impress. Even some of the more regular first-team players have been performing below their usual standards. Hence, the club could axe several of them when the opportunity arises.

Now, former defender Alan Hutton has predicted that Tottenham will sanction a whole host of departures when they can. He pinpointed Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli and Davinson Sanchez as three big names he expects to make way.

“I think you can go through them all. It won’t just be two or three,” he told Football Insider.

“I think after that Mura game, it will have been a leveller to say to Antonio Conte where they actually are. The squad maybe isn’t as strong as he first thought.

“There will be a lot of players who could be part of a clearout. Obviously, they are the big ones, the big names: Ndombele, Dele Alli, even Sanchez and some defenders.

Insigne contract offer "unacceptable" as Conte closes in on Napoli captain

Insigne contract offer "unacceptable" as Conte closes in on Napoli captain

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“I still think a lot of these guys also have a lot to prove. Yes, he will have money to spend but I think he’ll have to clear some players out before they move forward.”

Ndombele, Alli and Sanchez have been with Tottenham since 2019, 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Tottenham attacker pushing for exit

Another player who may be seeking a new club next month is attacker Steven Bergwijn.

Reports in Holland claim Ajax are stepping up their bid to land the 24-year-old. They are likely to ask Spurs about a loan deal in January with an option to make the deal permanent in the summer.

Now it’s claimed Bergwijn himself is ready to ask for the move.

The Dutchman is reportedly unhappy with his role in the squad under Conte, with the Evening Standard last week claiming the Italian coach only plans to use Bergwijn as backup to Harry Kane rather than Heung-min Son.

Knowing that Kane, when fit, is a shoo-in, Bergwijn is thought to feel frustrated by what is likely to be a lack of action.

And with the winger struggling to impress at Spurs, journalist Mike Verweij, speaking on De Telegraaf’s podcast, has detailed just how much contempt Conte has for Bergwijn.

“That interest in Bergwijn has been made known. Conte does not see it in him at all. Conte is also the one who opposed Bergwijn’s transfer from PSV to Italy. Inter were an interested club at the time, but Conte did not need him,” he said, via Sport Witness.

“Conte has only said two words to Bergwijn in two weeks at Tottenham Hotspur. That’s why Ajax can consider him, but first Ajax will have to sell [David] Neres.”

It seems clear there could be plenty of changes to the squad when Conte gets his first chance to work with Fabio Paratici on the matter in January.

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