By Frank McAvennie

10th Dec, 2021 | 11:00am

Pundit suggests Conte-Levy 'problem' as Tottenham told to fix 'awful' problem

Frank McAvennie insists three Premier League clean sheets under Antonio Conte hasn’t masked the need for new defenders at Tottenham.

The former West Ham hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has told Spurs to strengthen their backline in January.

Tottenham have kept three clean sheets in Conte’s first four Premier League games in charge.

In their final five league games under Nuno Espirito Santo, Spurs failed to stop the opposition scoring.

McAvennie has noted the defensive improvement but pointed to results in Europe as the reason Tottenham need fresh blood at the back.

“I mean, look at who they have played,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

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“Everton, Brentford and Norwich. It’s great keeping clean sheets in those games.

“But they didn’t keep one against a much-changed Leeds side and they are conceding for fun in Europe.

“They signed Romero in the summer. He was doing a good job but now he won’t play until February.

“That means they are back to their awful old defence, the one that was poor under Poch, Mourinho and Nuno.

“They have the money to go out and buy a top-level centre back in January.

“It’s just whether Levy will give Conte the money, that’s always the problem.

“Conte will argue he’s just moved up plans to sign another centre back, which is what they have needed for a long time.”

On 1 December, journalist Jonathan Veal quoted Conte as saying Cristian Romero, 23, may not play again until February.

Wenham has previously called the defender’s injury a “huge blow” to Spurs.

In other news, an insider has backed Tottenham to wrap up a double deal involving one youth star this January.