Jose Mourinho has revealed that Tanguy Ndombele is still not ready to play a full match for Tottenham Hotspur.
The former Lyon player arrived in North London for a club record fee of £55.45m plus add ons (Guardian), but has experienced a frustrating start to life at his new club.
A string of niggling injuries has prevented the 23-year-old from getting a consistent run in the side.
Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho has previously admitted his frustration at the Frenchman’s inability to remain fit for a sustained period of time (The Metro).
Ndombele has shown glimpses of his quality in a few cameos including his most recent appearance off the bench against Manchester City when he provided a clever assist for Son Heung-min’s goal.
Mourinho praised the impact which Ndombele made against City and believes that he has managed to shrug off his injury issues.
Speaking to Football.London, the Portuguese coach said: “He played well when he came on the other day. He is not with problems now, he is training normally and now it is time, instead of playing 15 or 20 minutes, to play more. So yes, he is a player with amazing quality,”
“I don’t think he can play 90 minutes. Can he start, and we take him (off) later? Can we see how Dele Alli is? Let’s see. If you ask me which team plays tomorrow, I have no idea. I have to wait.”
“He is not with problems now, he is training normally and now it is time, instead of playing 15 or 20 minutes, to play more. So yes, he is a player with amazing quality.”
Mourinho also revealed that the club are treating Ndombele’s return to action with caution in order not to incur another setback whilst also dismissing that Ndombele’s previous injury issues could be psychological.
He added: “No, I think it’s physical. He had lots of injuries. He didn’t have a proper pre-season, then he had injuries in Mauricio’s time and then I arrived and he has had injuries again,” he explained.
“Not big things, but small things which stop him and break his evolution. Then he played with me a first match against Norwich for 90 minutes and it was the only match where he played for 90. Then he breaks again. We are trying to give him the best possible condition for not to have another stop.”
Ndombele has now increased his intensity on the Hotspur Way training field courtesy of a special program to help him reach his best physical condition.
“That’s what he is doing – we are taking care of him at every level,” added Mourinho.
“We are doing a global programme with him to try to take care of him.
“When we speak about global programme, we are talking about his work with the group, his individual work, his sports science, his nutrition, everything. It’s like a full package to try to give him the best condition.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It sounds like Ndombele could get a start against Southampton this evening. It will be interesting to see him, Lo Celso and Winks play in a three-man midfield. I expect most of the players from who started against City to keep their place as we have an extended break after this and so don’t need to rest any players.
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