Tottenham Hotspur need at least two more transfer windows before they can challenge for the Premier League title, manager Antonio Conte said before the north London club travel to West Ham United on Wednesday (Aug 31).
Spurs made a strong start to the season by winning three of their opening four games. They are third in the league standings, level on 10 points with champions Manchester City and two behind rivals Arsenal.
"If you compare to last season, we are more complete", Conte, who took charge at Spurs in November, told reporters on Monday.
"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."
Tottenham invested heavily in the close season to bring in Richarlison, Yves Bissouma and Djed Spence, while Ivan Perisic joined on a free transfer and Clement Lenglet arrived on loan from Barcelona.
Conte said he has spoken with the club's board about signing more players before the transfer window closes on Thursday but added: "If we do something or not, it's okay".
The Italian has made minimal changes to his starting line-up so far but Spurs face a quick turnaround for Wednesday's short trip across London, three days after their 2-0 away win over Nottingham Forest.
"Now when you have to go and play one game every three days, it's normal to make rotation, the players (have) to be intelligent to understand that they have to sometimes go on the bench, come in, alternate", Conte said.
"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.
"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."
Striker Harry Kane scored both goals in Sunday's win over Forest and Conte said while there was no update on his contract situation, he is keen to keep hold of the 29-year-old beyond 2024.
"For sure I would like him to sign a new contract", Conte said. "In this moment, for me it is very important to see him happy, totally involved with this season, this project and in what we are doing.
"Then it's a decision that the player and the club have to take."