The Daily Mail’s Harry Slavin has written a scathing opinion piece blasting Tanguy Ndombele’s lack of effort at Spurs and has insisted that the midfielder has made a mockery of the transfer fee the club paid for him last summer.
Tottenham shelled out a club record £55.5 million (potential £9m in add-ons) to sign Ndombele from Lyon last summer.
However, the France international has failed to hit anywhere near the expected heights in his first season in North London and has even struggled to establish himself as a regular in the side, partly due to injury problems.
His attitude and work rate have been publically questioned by Jose Mourinho (BBC Sport) and there have even been suggestions that the North Londoners could move him on after just one season (Football Insider).
However, recent reports indicate that the 23-year-old will likely stay put at Spurs for now, with Mourinho and his coaching staff being impressed by the effort that the former Lyon man has put in over recent weeks (Football.London).
Slavin points out how, despite the phenomenal talent that Ndomebele possesses, he has not stood out for Spurs in any particular area, with other midfielders proving more consistent.
He writes, “In terms of winning possession, touches and passing, Ndombele doesn’t even reach the top of the pile among his team-mates, let alone the best performers across the whole division.
“His rate of 55.2 passes completed every 90 minutes is less than that of Eric Dier, Harry Winks and former colleague Christian Eriksen. He is outside the top 30 in the Premier League.
“Both Winks and Giovani Lo Celso have recorded more touches per game than his 77.7, while Moussa Sissoko and Lo Celso are both more impressive when it comes to recovering the ball in the middle of the park.
“For a club that has held the purse strings tight for so long, the sight of Bruno Fernandes, a long-term target for Spurs, landing on his feet at Old Trafford will be tough to take. In just five games the Portuguese matched the Frenchman’s goal tally and bettered his number of assists in the English top flight.
“Pochettino was willing to work with Ndombele and coax out the world-class midfielder that he is capable of becoming, with a little more application.
“Whether Mourinho has the inclination to do the same and indulge his occasional idleness is a different matter altogether.
“Who knows? Maybe this enforced break will have given Ndombele time to reflect on his own attitude and see him return refreshed and ready to fight for the club who pay him £200,000 per week.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Ndombele looks a lot fitter at the moment than he was when the season was suspended back in March. Hopefully, the extended break has given him the time he needed to overcome his problems. If he does not step up in the final nine games of the season and if the same problems continue to plague him, I will not be too surprised to see the club move him on in the summer.
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