In August 2015, Tottenham announced the signing of Cameroon international Clinton N’Jie for a reported £8.3 million, after the then 21 year old had impressed in Ligue 1 for Lyon. However, due to injury and competition for places, N’Jie only made 14 appearances for the club, with only 2 of those being starts. After just one year, N’Jie was loaned to Marseille, back in the French league, in a deal that saw Georges-Kevin N’Koudou move permanently to Spurs. Marseille also had the option to buy N’Jie for a cut-down price of £5.9 million.
However, it has not at all gone right for the 23 year old. For Marseille, though he’s made more appearances, his stats are still poor. N’Jie has managed just 4 goals and 1 assist in 23 appearances. In a poll released by French website Le Phoceen, fans of the club voted overwhelmingly against signing Clinton N’Jie on a permanent basis. The poll asked fans whether the club should allow N’Jie to return to Spurs and an astonishing 82% of fans responded ‘yes’. Not even the low asking price was enough to sway their minds.
Marseille made the signing of Dmitri Payet this season and a recent takeover of the wealthy American businessman Frank McCourt has made paying larger transfer fees more realistic for the French club. With this injection of ambition and quality, it seems Marseille are simply out-growing Clinton N’Jie, as reflected by the poll results.
Now at Spurs, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane are firing on all cylinders, with Vincent Janssen and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou waiting by the sidelines. It seems unlikely that N’Jie will be able to force his way into this Tottenham side. However, N’Jie is unable to put himself in the shop window either, as he has been left out of the Cameroon squad for the Confederations Cup.
With that said, a Summer move away from Tottenham seems to be his only option, which is a shame, considering how impressed I was with his football before he injured his medial collateral ligament in December 2015. Though I agree that N’Jie should now find a new club, I am desperate for Georges-Kevin N’Koudou to avoid falling into the same trap. For next season, I’ll be eagerly anticipating N’Koudou getting more game time, no matter who else we also bring in.
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