Antonio Conte says he needs at least two more transfer windows to transform Tottenham into genuine Premier League title challengers.
Spurs have started the season strongly by taking 10 points from a possible 12 following Sunday’s 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest.
Head coach Conte has spoken with the club’s board about further bolstering his squad ahead of Thursday’s deadline following a series of arrivals earlier in the summer but insists he is content to work with the players already at his disposal.
Having been consistent with his selections in the opening four games, the Italian accepts he will now discover his side’s true strength as he prepares to rotate due to having two fixtures a week until the break for the winter World Cup.
“I tried to start with the old players because they give me more reality,” said Conte, who faces a London derby at West Ham on Wednesday evening.
“With the new players, we started to work with them in only one month and a half. And I think at the end my choices were good because we got four good results in the first four games.
“Now when you have to go and play one game every three days, it’s normal to make rotation, the players to be intelligent to understand that they have to sometimes go on the bench, come in, alternate.
“And this is the period that the club can understand if we are really, really complete in the squad or maybe we could do better.
“If you compare to last season, we are more complete. But to reach other teams at the top level, we need time, patience and transfer markets, at least two transfer markets to reach the same level.”
Speaking about possible additions this week, he added: “I spoke with the club and told them my opinion, but if we do something or not it’s OK.”
Harry Kane claimed both Tottenham goals at the City Ground, while substitute Richarlison hit the headlines for some late showboating which upset Forest boss Steve Cooper.
Conte has been impressed with the Brazilian’s cameos since his big-money arrival from Everton and said the forward’s first start is imminent.
“We are talking about a player that can help us a lot in this season, a player that is a really good addition,” Conte said of the 25-year-old.
“I think in the past Tottenham didn’t have a player in this level behind Harry, behind Son (Heung-min), and now we have a really good player and he’s in the best moment in his career to stay in Tottenham and to show his talent.
“He can help us a lot this season and now every time he’s playing for 20, 30, 40 minutes, he’s playing very well. For sure in the next games, we’ll see him in the starting 11.”
Star man Kane, who has two years remaining on his Tottenham deal, has scored four goals in his last three appearances following his brace at Forest, earning his team seven points.
Conte said Spurs are keen to secure the future of the England captain but had no update regarding a potential contract extension.
“We are talking about an important player for Tottenham and the desire of everybody in the club is to continue to stay with Tottenham and to sign a new contract,” Conte said.
“But if you ask me about the details, information, I cannot answer you.”