Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has claimed that Jose Mourinho has every right to be upset to be with Tanguy Ndombele.
The Portuguese singled Ndombele out for criticism following Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at Burnley last weekend.
Ndombele became Tottenham’s most expensive player in history after arriving from Lyon for £55m in the summer, but despite showing flashes of brilliance, the Frenchman has subsequently struggled with fitness and form (talkSPORT).
The 23-year-old made a rare start at Turf Moor but was hauled off at half time following a lethargic first 45 minutes.
Ndombele’s fitness levels have been brought into question previously when Mourinho began his public criticism with a dig at the midfielder’s injury record back in December (Metro).
The French international’s lack of impact on the match was highlighted by pundit Jamie Carragher during a segment on Sky Sports‘ Monday Night Football.
While Whelan agreed with Carragher’s critical assessment of Ndombele, he believes that the player needs to show a significant improvement with his work rate.
Whelan told Football Insider: “I think he [Ndombele] will be given time, but you’ve got to do the other side of the game.
“He seems to come alive when he’s on the ball, but off the ball, that’s where it’s very important. If you’re carrying a player and he’s not pulling his weight, it makes it very, very difficult – especially in a key area like the centre of midfield.
“He doesn’t seem to want to do that side of the game. I don’t think Jose will accept that, I don’t think the players will accept it either.
“You can’t be having people not tracking back, you can’t be having people not sprinting to close down.
“I would be absolutely livid, and so will Jose.”
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