Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has suggested that Tanguy Ndombele asked him to leave him out of the starting XI against Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day, per Football.London.
Spurs’ club-record signing, costing £53.8m, was not included in the squad to face the Seagulls as Spurs won 2-1.
Football.London’s Spurs correspondent Alasdair Gold reported before the game that the France international, the club’s record signing, was not injured.
And Mourinho confirmed that after the game, instead claiming that the former Lyon man was anxious about the prospect of sustaining another injury.
He said: “I cannot say he is injured.
“I can say that yesterday he told me he was not feeling in condition to play the game.
“Not based on injuries, based on fears of previous injuries of the season. I cannot say he is injured.”
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This is not a good omen for Ndombele.
He was signed for over £50m in the summer but already the seeds of discontent are being sowed.
When he was the manager of Manchester United, Mourinho repeatedly criticised Luke Shaw for failing to play through the pain barrier and it seems that Ndombele may have suggested that he is unwilling to do it too.
The team selection against Norwich City, then, will be particularly interesting.
Both Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks are suspended for the game on Saturday after collecting yellow cards on Thursday and if Ndombele is not even in the squad, then one feels that he may have to go some way to get back into Mourinho’s good books.
Meanwhile, Spurs have to sell two players in the January transfer window.