Well, I’ve seen him play… and if he continues on his uphill rise then he will become a magnificent player to behold. But that is if all goes to plan, and as we know, not everything goes to plan in this crazy world of football.. or as the European’s say, Futbal.
We’ve purchased a few turkey’s before, and we’ve purchased those that the supporters have booed, only for them to come good all of a sudden (Sissoko springs to mind).
He was born in 1996, which makes him 22, well at least for a couple of months, then he gets his old age pension on the 28th December and becomes an old man of 23. All within the blink of an eye.
He’s French… let us not hold that against him, so is Lloris and look where that got him. Sissoko is also French. And what else is French famous for? The Effiel Tower, wine and shipping the Statue of Liberty to America… oh, and they fought with the American’s against the British in the war of Independence. Oh… (yes, another ‘oh’ again) and let us not forget that the French collaborated with a certain unmentionable in the war. So, there you have it in a wooden box… (he is also of Congolese descent). Of course, we can’t blame any French citizen for past countries foibles. If we did, just imagine how much pig swallow we’d be in!
When he was a nipper, he played for FC Épinay Athlético, a club based in Épinay-sous-Sénart, about 13 miles south-east of Paris, in Essone. He then moved to Brittany when he was just 14 so that he could play for Guingamp, where he spent three seasons. He wasn’t offered a professional contract at the end of his expansion. At only 16, he made his senior debut, on 11 January 2014, with the reserves. He replaced Vital N’Simba near the final whistle (enough time to give him no time at all to smell the grass).
Still, with the smell of nothing in his nostrils, he signed for SC Amiens, who had just been relegated from French Ligue 2 in June 2014. He took this as a chance to trial at numerous clubs (Auxerre, Caen, and Angers) but wasn’t signed by any of them (not a good start or recommendation to prospective employers.. you can’t have everything, and he never said he was Pele). The issue was that he was criticised for being a Jelly-tubby (overweight in ordinary language… or English language, French words will be with recognisable, but put in such a way that it would be indecipherable to those that can only speak one language or paraphrasing Henry Ford, any language so long as it was English). Anyway – sorry about the excursion – this was the main reason why he wasn’t signed by clubs, even though trialists believed he was a good apple.
Ndombele played 2 seasons in Championnat National 3 with the Amiens reserve team. He only played one match during the 2014-2015 season, the 8 November 2014, once again, coming on late in that game. He becomes a regular during the 2015-2016 season, taking part in 18 games. He starts for the first time on 5 September 2015 at the age of 18 and 9 months, to put it precisely.
Then the big break. On 31 August 2017, Ndombele moved to Lyon on a one-year loan. According to a French magazine, Lyon paid €2 million for the loan. Lyon also secured a chance to sign him permanently for €8 million, plus a possible €250,000 in bonuses and 20% of any profit made should he be transferred from Lyon to another club. Not bad going for a Jelly-tubby, or once was a Jelly-tubby.
He then made his competitive debut for Lyon’s first team in the 2–0 Ligue 1 away loss to Paris Saint-Germain on 17 September 2017; he started the match and was replaced by Christopher Martins in the 72nd minute. On 15 February 2018, Ndombele scored a goal (his first career competitive goal for Lyon’s first team) in the 46th minute of their 3–1 home win over Villarreal CF in the round of 32 first leg of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League. The boy is making progress, and people were starting to sit up and take notice. Then his big break came and through hard negotiations with Lyons chairman and ours a deal was struck. Yes, money was splashed by Daniel Levy to get his man. The deal worth €62 million (£55.45 million) plus up to €10 million (£8.97 million) in add-ons. Now his career will shine brightly with Pochettino guiding him in the right direction.
While we are on the subject of Mr Ndombele, let us also mention that on the 11 October 2018, Ndombele made his senior France debut by coming on as a substitute for Paul Pogba – yes, that Paul Pogba, of Manchester United fame… the man who is a pain in the never regions for some at United. That was in the 68th minute (that is coming on for Pogba, not the 68th minute he was a pain for United!) of the friendly match against Iceland, the country, not the Freezer Company, at the Stade du Roudourou in Guingamp that ended in a 2–2 draw.
So, there you have it. A new legend, hopefully, in the making. A skilled-player that will be part of the next chapter in Pochettino’s rebuilding for the next level of Tottenham’s Glory, Glory future. And he won’t be the last purchase by Levy and Pochettino… oh, no. Now we are in our new stadium we will start to rock and roll and hopefully keep United and Arsenal under us, while simultaneously trying to leapfrog City, Liverpool and Chelsea to the number one spot. Easy-peasy. What more can you ask for? Oh, yes, a few – many – trophies on the way as well (we’d like). That dream of standing on the shoulders of United, Liverpool, City, Chelsea and Arsenal is no longer a vision but an ever-encroaching reality. COYS!
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