ANTONIO CONTE is trying to take Tottenham to new heights – literally.
All six of his summer signings, including Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison, Clement Lenglet and Djed Spence, are at least 1.80m tall.
While Destiny Udogie, who Spurs are close for £21m before loaning him back to Udinese in Serie A, stands at 6ft 2in.
At just 19, he could have continued to grow when he returns to north London in a year if the deal goes through as expected.
This sheer physicality, both in terms of size and endurance, of the youngest recruits is something Ledley King has noticed.
The club’s former captain now sees a side that literally has real strength, with the power to beat opposing sides before kick-off.
Ex-England star King, 41, said: “The first thing that strikes me when I look at the squad is the size.
“It’s a very physical squad and that excites me. Being a pretty physical defender in my day, it’s great to see a team full of big, strong athletes.
“It definitely makes a difference when you’re in the tunnel before a game and you look over and you see a team of strong athletes who can run all day.”
Conte explained during last month’s pre-season tour of South Korea that one of his side’s goals this season is to intimidate opponents more.
The Italian said: “My goal is that when the other teams play Tottenham, they aren’t scared, they’re a little bit worried.”
Height is clearly not the be-all and end-all to achieve this.
Conte only has to look at how tiny Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante were the stars of his Premier League title triumph with Chelsea in 2017 to prove otherwise.
While Aaron Lennon (5ft 5in), Steed Malbranque (5ft 6in) and Robbie Keane (5ft 9in) helped Spurs win their latest trophy by starting the 2008 League Cup final alongside King.
Yet England’s top flight is often cited as the most physical league in the world.
So having big, powerful athletes who are able to thrive in it will only help.
In fact, Spurs are likely to be no player under six feet of height this season.
Skipper Hugo Lloris (6ft 2in) in what SunSport believes Conte this season is in goal; Cristian Romero (6ft 1in), Eric Dier (6ft 2in) and Lenglet (6ft 1in) make up the three-man defense; Matt Doherty (6ft 1in), Rodrigo Bentancur (6ft 2in), Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg (6ft 1in) and Ivan Perisic (6ft 1in) make up the midfield, while Dejan Kulusevski (6ft 1in) , Harry Kane (6 feet 2 inches) and Son Heung-Min (6 feet) are the three devastated front.
The players who want to offload Spurs, by chance or not, are all under six feet in Tanguy Ndombele, Gio Lo Celso, Harry Winks and Sergio Reguilon.
Should Bryan Gil also be loaned out, possibly to Valencia, only Ben Davies (5ft 11in), Ryan Sessegnon (5ft 10in) and Lucas Moura (5ft 8in) would remain as relatively minor characters in the squad.
The January signings of Bentancur and Kulusevski proved pivotal in Spurs qualifying for the Champions League last season.
They were real bonuses as neither took time to adjust to the Premier League.
While King tips the other newcomers for a similar quick effect.
The former centre-back turned club ambassador added: “Players like Richarlison and Bissouma undoubtedly know the league well (they signed from Everton and Brighton respectively).
“Perisic is experienced, he played at the highest level.
“You’d think you wouldn’t have to worry about these players settling in. They know the expected levels and should be fine.
“Lenglet is a left centre-back and now it’s important to have that balance between left and right footed defense.
“Maybe it wasn’t that important in my day. I was right footed and played on the left my whole career.
“I’m not sure I would get away with it now that I put so much emphasis on playing from behind.”
Spurs started their season with a 4-1 home win over Southampton.
On Sunday they travel to Conte’s old club Chelsea, who will really show how far they’ve come under the former Inter Milan boss.
King added: “The most important thing is a good start.
“Believe it or not, there wasn’t a time I went into a season not believing that if we started the season right, we could win the league.
“We always had enough good players. Obviously that didn’t happen.
“But I’m sure the mentality of this group will be the same. Let’s start the season well and see where we are.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5966030/ledley-king-antonio-conte-tottenham-big/ Ledley King says Antonio Conte is taking Tottenham to new heights – with 6ft tall transfer signings