Exclusive: Hoddle claims Ndombele can be Spurs’ next Eriksen over ‘half-decent’ Lo Celso

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Image: SpursWeb

Tottenham Hotspur went out and made a big statement signing last summer, breaking their transfer record to bring Tanguy Ndombele to the club.

The French midfielder from Lyon is said to have cost the Lilywhites around £53.8m, beating Tottenham’s previous record of £42m for Davinson Sanchez (BBC).

However, Ndombele endured a torrid first season in North London, not helped by the fact that he suffered from a groin strain problem and a hamstring injury within six months of joining (TransferMarkt).

After Jose Mourinho joined in November 2019, Ndombele started just four Premier League games under the new head coach (TransferMarkt).

In fact, after just 45 minutes against Burnley in March, Mourinho subbed Ndombele off and slammed him in the press for a lack of effort (Independent).

Despite this, Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle has earmarked Ndombele to potentially pick up the mantle left by Christian Eriksen as the club’s chief creator.

Speaking exclusively to The Spurs Web on Zoom ahead of BT Sport’s coverage of Southampton v Tottenham on Sunday, Hoddle said this on Lo Celso: “Listen, I don’t dislike the lad [Lo Celso] and I think he’s a decent player.

“Eriksen took time to settle and he wasn’t so great at the end, but in the those middle three years, that’s what we want, a creator.

“I think Ndombele is the one for me, he’s the one that is a bit of a conundrum. I think there is a player in there waiting to come out. There is a little bit of spark and a bit of creation and a bit of unusualness, making a difference. He’s got that, whether he can do that in Tottenham now with the scenario that it seems like he’s got to communicate and gel with the manager a bit more. I think if they put that right, he could be a really good player for Tottenham.

“He’s a little bit undisciplined and he doesn’t quite know positional sense defensively. He wants to just play football like he’s in the playground, no shape, just get the football and play. He’s got talent and physically he’s Jose’s type.

“The goal the other night [against Plovdiv] will give him a little big of confidence. I think he’s one of them who plays at his best when he does have a bit of swagger. He’s got that little bit of arrogance but he hasn’t proved himself yet at Tottenham. He certainly hasn’t proved himself yet to Jose in a consistent way. So, watch this space, we might already have a creator in there, and I hope we don’t give him away or he wants to go before we really know whether he is.

“So, Lo Celso, yeah he looks a half-decent player. I think we have a team in that central position where it’s only Winksy that plays quickly and early. The midfield just needs to play three touch football in many ways and we’ve got runners of the ball in there.”

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