Tanguy Ndombele has revealed that he wanted to quit Tottenham Hotspur last summer only for Daniel Levy to tell him that he would not sanction his sale.
Ndombele failed to live up to expectations during his first season at Spurs after arriving for a club-record transfer fee from Lyon in the summer of 2019.
The midfielder’s relationship with Jose Mourinho was strained and he struggled to get into the team towards the end of the last campaign.
There was a lot of speculation linking the 24-year-old with a move away from Spurs last summer but Tottenham decided to hang on to the midfielder.
The club’s decision as certainly been vindicated with Ndombele establishing himself as a key part of the Spurs midfield this season.
The French international revealed that the Spurs chairman was responsible for keeping him at the club and admits he was a healthy relationship with Levy.
When asked if he came close to leaving Tottenham last season, he told Football.London: “To be perfectly honest with you I don’t know how close I was to leaving.
“What I know is that I did want to leave. I spoke about this with people at the club and particularly with the chairman.
“The chairman said he didn’t want me to leave and definitely that’s something that really helped.”
When asked about his relationship with Levy, Ndombele said: “Myself and Levy, we get on well.
“I am a player and he is the chairman. If we need to speak, we speak. There’s not much more to it than that, we both respect each other.
“Right from the start though he said he wasn’t going to let me leave. He didn’t want me to go. He looked me in the eyes and he said to me ‘The problem is you’re stubborn.”
The 24-year-old admitted that he is happy with his decision to stay and prove that he can shine in the Premier League, insisting that is stronger because of the struggles he faced last season.
When asked if he was determined not to go down as a flop at Spurs, Ndombele said: “That’s something that motivates me all the time to improve, but you’ve got to remember that at the time I really didn’t feel good so.
“Sure, after the event I look back and think I wouldn’t have wanted to leave and want to prove myself here, but at the time if you’re not feeling good, those sort of thoughts are quite far away from your mind.
“Without a doubt it’s made me stronger mentally. It’s made me and improved me as an athlete, what happened last season, because I wasn’t playing a lot.
“I was getting injured a lot, which I’m not used to and we were going through the pandemic and times like this you can only grow stronger.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Daniel Levy deserves a lot of credit for sticking to his guns and ensuring that Ndombele stayed put at the club. One suspects that part of the reason the Spurs chairman did not want to let Ndombele leave is because he realised that the club were not going to get anywhere close to Ndombele’s true value given the midfielder’s struggles last season and the state of the market following the pandemic.
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