Jose Mourinho has piled into Tanguy Ndombele after the France international picked up an injury in the 1-0 defeat to Southampton on New Year’s Day, per PA Sport journalist Jonathan Veal.
The club-record £62.8m signing was substituted after 25 minutes at St Mary’s and was replaced by Giovani Lo Celso.
Ndombele had previously claimed that he was not properly fit to play against Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day, to Mourinho’s chagrin.
And he has now again dug out the former Lyon star.
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He said: “He is always injured, he is injured, is not injured. He plays one match, the next week he is injured, he plays another match. We are full of hopes and this is since the beginning of the season.
“Of course it is a concern, you think you have a player, you think the player is in an evolution process, he plays very well against Norwich, you think today he is ready for it and he is not ready for it.
“I cannot say much more than that because it is a situation that comes from the beginning of the season.”
Ndombele knows his own body better than anyone else and, yet, Mourinho chose not to listen.
After he aired his concerns against Brighton, he played 90 minutes versus Norwich and was picked to start again on Wednesday.
With two games in four days, the Portuguese should have trod carefully but he opted against that and used the sledgehammer approach instead, hoping that Ndombele would play his way into fitness.
That he hasn’t is not the fault of the 23-year-old.
He should have been managed carefully but he wasn’t; instead, he was forced to play and it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s picked up an issue.
Before criticising him in public, as Mourinho seems to love doing, the Spurs boss ought to look in the mirror.
Meanwhile, take a look at Spurs’ reported January target!