Conte returns to Premier League as Tottenham manager

Tottenham Hotspur FC / Getty

Antonio Conte is back in the Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspur appointed the Italian as their new manager on Tuesday, the club announced. The 52-year-old signed a contract until June 2023, with an option to extend.

The accomplished tactician replaces Nuno Espirito Santo, who was dismissed on Monday.

"I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again," Conte said. "Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.

"I can't wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach."

Typically averse to joining a team during the season, Conte received assurances that Tottenham would be active in upcoming transfer windows, according to Fabrizio Romano and Ed Aarons of The Guardian.

Tottenham, languishing in eighth place in the Premier League after a 3-0 defeat to Manchester United, have lost five of their last seven league matches. Fans turned on Nuno during Saturday's contest, openly mocking his substitutions and booing the team's latest dour display. The Portuguese coach, hired only four months ago after a chaotic search to replace Jose Mourinho, always appeared to be at odds with the club's desired approach; his conservative tactics were a poor fit with the squad from the beginning.

He ultimately lasted just 17 games.

Conte, who the Tottenham brass approached prior to Nuno's appointment in the summer, will be tasked with engineering a rapid turnaround if Spurs hope to push for a European place.

"Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn’t yet the right time to return to coaching," Conte explained. "But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction."

The decorated manager joins the club three years after leaving London rivals Chelsea, where he captured both the Premier League title and FA Cup.

He guided Inter to their first Scudetto in over a decade last season but left shortly after amid disagreements with the hierarchy over impending budgetary restraints and transfer decisions.

He'll be reunited at Spurs with football director Fabio Paratici, with whom he enjoyed a fruitful partnership while at Juventus.

Amid many glaring issues at Tottenham, Conte will need to find the right balance between authoring a more entertaining style of play and delivering victories; Spurs did neither under Nuno, scoring just nine goals and conceding 16 in 10 league games.

Crucially, he also needs to implement a system that gets the best out of star striker Harry Kane. The perennial Golden Boot contender, who has looked apathetic since failing to get his desired transfer this past summer, has just one league goal this campaign.

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Conte returns to Premier League as Tottenham manager
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