Antonio Conte: In profile
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New Tottenham manager Antonio Conte will no doubt already be planning how to turn the club’s fortunes around as he prepares for his first game in charge. The Italian was named as the new Spurs boss on Tuesday, and will make his bow in the Europa Conference League when his side take on Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday.
Spurs are in desperate need of a boost following their dreadful start to the season under Nuno Espirito Santo, and Conte will be hoping he can get them winning games again sooner rather than later.
He will no doubt be thinking about how to get the best out of the likes of Harry Kane, who has been way below his best in the current campaign, while there are also a number of other key men in the squad who he will be confident of improving.
But in the long-term, Conte may already be considering the positions he needs to strengthen or make changes in – and one of those could well be the goalkeeper.
French international Hugo Lloris has been at Spurs since 2012, and has made a total of 383 appearances for the club in all competitions after establishing himself as their undoubted No.1.
However, the Lilywhites captain’s contract is set to expire next summer, and it is not yet clear whether or not he will be extending his current deal.
Much of that may depend on how Conte sees the situation, but at the age of 34 Lloris may not be able to perform at the highest level for too much longer, and his new boss may already be casting his eye on long-term replacements.
In the summer Spurs signed a backup ‘keeper who Conte may well know all about – his fellow compatriot Pierluigi Gollini, who joined from Atalanta.
So far the 26-year-old has only appeared in the cup competitions, making five appearances in the Conference League and two in the Carabao Cup.
And it is not yet certain whether or not he is good enough to eventually usurp Lloris as Spurs’ first-choice, with a mixed bag of performances so far.
Conte will no doubt cast his eye over proceedings before making a decision, but the goalkeeping position is one which could well be on his mind going forward.
The ex-Chelsea coach has worked with some of the very best shot-stoppers in the business, and will be all too aware how important it is to have a man he trusts between the sticks.
It will be fascinating to see how he decides to play it, and who he will pick for the game against Vitesse.
Conte makes his Premier League return on Sunday when Spurs travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton.
And he then has a relatively kind-looking set of fixtures coming up, with clashes against Leeds, Burnley, Brentford and Norwich to follow in the Premier League.
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