Former striker claims Spurs man ‘didn’t look match fit’ against Aston Villa

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Gabby Agbonlahor has claimed that Tanguy Ndombele looked short of fitness against Aston Villa and called on the midfielder to use the international break to improve his conditioning.

There were concerns over Ndombele’s fitness last season, with Jose Mourinho often taking the 24-year-old around the hour mark in matches in the first half of last campaign.

The former Lyon man was not picked in Tottenham’s matchday squad by Nuno Espirito Santo in the first few games of the season after allegedly expressing his desire to leave the club over the summer.

He was reinstated into the side after the window slammed shut and he has put in some encouraging displays over the last weeks.

However, his performance against Villa on Sunday left a lot to be desired as he made a number of unforced errors on and off the ball.

Agbonlahor believes that Ndombele’s issue against Dean Smith’s side was down to a lack of fitness.

The pundit told Football Insider: “He looked good [against Aston Villa], Ndombele, but he didn’t look fit.

“When the camera went on him he looked out of breath. He didn’t look match fit. Maybe that’s why he’s always the one that’s brought off, the manager recognises it.

“They need to work on that over the international break because you need to be able to last 90 minutes, not 60 minutes.

“The international break is well-timed. They’re not always for days off. If you’ve played a lot of football you can get three or four days off.

“The ones that haven’t been playing, they use the international break to play some behind closed doors games, get some extra fitness and get back up to speed.”

Spurs Web Opinion

While Ndombele does have an issue with fitness, I do not think it is born out of laziness. Even world-class athletes have diverse strengths and weaknesses, and stamina does not seem to be one of Ndombele’s strong points.

Another point to note is the amount of energy the midfielder puts in during his explosive runs, which certainly takes a lot of him. If the Frenchman had Alli’s running ability and stamina, he would undoubtedly be classified as world class.

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