Tanguy Ndombele has admitted that he wanted to leave Tottenham Hotspur just a few weeks after arriving in the summer of 2019.
Spurs broke their transfer record to snap up Ndombele, who was one of the most sought after talents in Ligue 1 at the time.
It was a move that the North Londoners sealed uncharacteristically early in the transfer window and the Spurs midfielder admitted that he was not quite ready for the deal to go through as quickly as it did.
Ndombele told Football.London: “I was on holiday and I had dyed hair and I received the call.
“They said: ‘You’ve got to come to Spurs, it’s now or never’. I said, ‘Ah, I’ve dyed my hair, my hair is blue!’
“They said: ‘You’ve got to come anyway.’ As it happened it was fine. They said I could keep my hat on so that’s how I look in the photos!”
The midfielder admitted that he was not prepared for the intensity of training at Tottenham when he first arrived.
Mauricio Pochetttino, who was in charge at the time, has a reputation for working the players incredibly hard and Ndombele admitted that he wanted to return to France after just a few weeks of pre-season training.
The 23-year-old said: “It was incredibly tough. I remember that I was even calling home to my friends in France saying I want to come back.
“It was so, so tough, but perhaps it was what I needed. I needed to get used to that sort of work, to that sort of training and over time to acclimatise to it.”
While the former Lyon man has now become a vital part of the Spurs side, he failed to live up to expectations in his first season at the club, partly due to injuries.
The midfielder revealed that the intensity of the training sessions may have been responsible for the knocks he picked up during his first few months at the club.
When asked if the demands of training took their toll on his body, he responded: “Yes, undoubtedly, I think it did have a role to play in the injuries I got [later on].
“Obviously my body just needed to get used to that sort of work and maybe it was the shock of that hard work to begin with that perhaps had a role to play in the fitness problems I had. I think my body just needed to adapt to it.”
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Ndombele’s quotes perfectly illustrate how players arriving in the Premier League do not just need to get used to the style of play but also the sheer intensity and physical demands of English football. Perhaps this is also why someone like Lo Celso, who hardly had any injuries before arriving at Spurs, keeps constantly picking up muscle injuries.
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