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King says Conte is taking Tottenham to new heights – literally – with new signings



ANTONIO CONTE is trying to take Tottenham to new heights – quite literally.

All six of his summer signings, including Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison, Clement Lenglet and Djed Spence, stand at six foot tall or more.

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Antonio Conte has built a team of six-footers

While Destiny Udogie, whom Spurs are closing in on for £21million before loaning him back to Udinese in Serie A, is 6ft2ins. 

Aged just 19, he may have grown further by the time he returns to North London in a year’s time, should the deal go through as expected.

That sheer physicality, both in size and stamina, of the recent recruits is something that has caught the eye of Ledley King.


The former club captain now sees a squad that has real strength – in its most literal sense – in depth that has the power to put the wind up opposing teams even before kick-off.

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Ex-England star King, 41, said: “When I look at the squad, one of the first things that strikes me is the size of them. 

“It’s a very physical squad, and that excites me. Being a somewhat physical defender back in my day, to see a team full of big, strong athletes is great.

“It definitely makes a difference when you’re stood in the tunnel before a game and you look across and you see a team of strong athletes who can run all day.”

Conte stated during last month’s pre-season tour of South Korea that one of his side’s aims this season is to be more intimidating to the opposition.

The Italian said: “My target is that when the other teams are going to play against Tottenham, they will be, not scared, but a bit worried.”

Height is clearly not the be all and end all to achieving that. 

Conte need only look at how pint-sized Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante were the stars of his Premier League title triumph with Chelsea in 2017 for evidence to the contrary.


While Aaron Lennon (5ft5ins), Steed Malbranque (5ft6ins) and Robbie Keane (5ft9ins) all helped Spurs win their last trophy by starting the 2008 League Cup final, along with King.

Yet England’s top flight is often described as the world’s most physical league.

So to have big, powerful athletes capable of thriving in it is only going to be a help.

Indeed Spurs’ likely first-choice XI this season involves no player smaller than six foot.

In what SunSport reckons could be Conte’s go-to team this term, skipper Hugo Lloris (6ft2ins) lines up in goal; Cristian Romero (6ft1ins), Eric Dier (6ft2ins) and Lenglet (6ft1) make up the three-man defence; Matt Doherty (6ft1ins), Rodrigo Bentancur (6ft2ins), Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg (6ft1ins) and Ivan Perisic (6ft1ins) are the midfield, while Dejan Kulusevski (6ft1ins), Harry Kane (6ft2ins) and Son Heung-Min (6ftins) are the devastating front three.

The players Spurs are looking to offload, coincidentally or not, are all less than six foot in Tanguy Ndombele, Gio Lo Celso, Harry Winks and Sergio Reguilon.

Should Bryan Gil also be shipped out on loan, possibly to Valencia, that would leave only Ben Davies (5ft11ins), Ryan Sessegnon (5ft10ins) and Lucas Moura (5ft8ins) as the squad’s relatively diminutive characters.


The January signings of Bentancur and Kulusevski proved pivotal in Spurs qualifying for the Champions League last season.

They were real bonuses given neither seemed to need time to adapt to the Premier League.

While King is tipping the other new arrivals to make a similarly quick impact.

The former centre-back, now an ambassador for the club, added: “There’s no doubt players like Richarlison and Bissouma know the league well (having signed from Everton and Brighton respectively). 

“Perisic is experienced, he’s played at the highest level. 

“You’d think you wouldn’t have to worry about these players settling in. They know the levels expected and they should be fine.

“Lenglet is a left-sided centre-half and now it’s important to have that balance of left-footed and right-footed players in the defence. 


“Maybe in my day it wasn’t so important. I was right-footed and I played on the left side my whole career. 

“I’m not sure I’d get away with it now with such an emphasis on playing out from the back.”

Spurs kicked off their season with a 4-1 hom thrashing of Southampton. 

On Sunday they travel to Conte’s old side Chelsea which really will show how far they have come under the former Inter Milan boss.

King added: “The most important thing is getting off to a good start. 

“Believe it or not, there wasn’t a time I went into a season not believing we could win the league if we started the season right. 

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“We always had good enough players. Obviously, that didn’t happen. 

“But I’m sure this group’s mentality will be the same. Let’s start the season well and see where we are.”


Source: The Sun

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