(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur should keep their eyes open for any opportunity to expand their squad in the January window because of the number of injuries they have, manager Antonio Conte said on Tuesday.
Spurs are one of the few Premier League sides without any players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations. But five of their players are out injured, including defender Eric Dier and forward Son Heung-min.
"We know that only after the international break (at the end of January) the injured players are ready to come back," Conte said ahead of Wednesday's league match at Leicester City.
"It's not easy to come back from this period when you have many injuries in your squad. We'll see if anything comes from this period in the transfer market."
Conte added that he did not know if Spurs would strengthen their squad in January but said the team needed reinforcements.
"It is more simple when you start the season to buy important players," Conte said.
"In January it is not easy, but at the same time we know very well that if there is the opportunity... we need to do something."
The Italian noted some of Spurs' key injuries in the face of a busy schedule.
"We lost Romero for two months and now Sonny for one month," Conte said. "If someone has to look to the welfare of the players, surely you have to play less games and especially not to play games within two days."
Tottenham have 33 points from 18 games and sit sixth in the table, two points below rivals Arsenal in fifth.
Spurs reacted with surprise after the Premier League agreed last week to Arsenal's request to have the north London derby postponed https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-england-tot-ars-idUKKBN2JP0C5 over a combination of COVID-19 infections, injuries and players away at the Africa Cup of Nations.
"I must admit that this is the first time in my life that a league postponed games due to injuries," Conte said.
(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Hugh Lawson)