Tottenham managed to sign two new players for Antonio Conte on deadline day with Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski arriving from Juventus. They have been signed from a team that have used Conte’s favourite formation, so there should be a quicker transition period for the pair. It is likely that a lot of Spurs’ shopping in the short term will be done in Italy.
It looked like it was going to be a frustrating window with Adama Traore and Luis Diaz signing for other clubs, but the Juventus pair certainly strengthen the squad. Conte is known for never being happy with his side’s transfer business, but both signings should improve the starting eleven.
Bentancur is an excellent addition to the club’s midfield options, as he is a good stylistic fit for Conte’s system. The Italian hasn’t been impressed with Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso or Dele Alli. The trio were allowed to leave and the new Uruguayan midfielder should fit nicer into the midfield. He will be competing with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Harry Winks and Oliver Skipp for minutes.
The new signing from Juventus has been playing regularly this season. He is the profile of midfielder that Conte favours, as he can cover a lot of ground, win the ball back and progress it forwards. Bentancur isn’t a player that scores or assists often, but that isn’t the role he will be carrying out at Tottenham.
The 24-year-old averages 22.81 pressures, 2.84 tackles and 2.48 interceptions per ninety minutes over the last year. This places Bentancur in the 88th, 81st and 92nd percentiles for each respective stat when compared to other midfielders. He will add aggression to the midfield and could be an excellent partner for Hojbjerg with the pair sharing some attributes.
In terms of his ability on the ball, Bentancur is tidy in possession with a pass completion rate of 87.5% this season. His average of 4.4 progressive passes per ninety minutes shows that he can move his team forwards. Although he hasn’t been signed for his attacking threat, an average of 2.73 shot creating actions per ninety minutes shows that he can add creativity from deep.
The second arrival adds another attacking option to the squad. Dejan Kulusevski is very highly rated, but he struggled to break into the team at Juventus. The Swede has played 20 times in Serie A this season, but only five came as a starter. He is a left footed right-winger, which suits Conte’s 3-4-2-1 formation.
Kulusevski is a more creative player than Harry Kane or Son Heung-min, so the idea will be that he creates the chances for the other two. During the last year, he averaged 0.26 expected assists (xA) and 3.5 shot creating actions per ninety minutes. This places him in the 84th and 63rd percentiles for these respective stats.
During his breakthrough season with Parma, he contributed ten goals and eight assists, underlining the ability he does have. Aside from his potential in attack, Kulusevski is a hard working player, which is a prerequisite to suit a Conte side. He averages 23.51 pressures per ninety minutes, placing him in the 97th percentile.
There will be some concerns about both players, as Juventus were willing to let both go. However, they each profile as players that will suit and thrive under Antonio Conte. If they do settle, it will improve two of the eleven starting positions. Considering they were signed on deadline day, it has to be considered a successful window for Tottenham.