This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Having arrived from French giants Lyon in the summer, Tanguy Ndombele has endured a rather topsy-turvy time of things in north London.
The £58.m-rated ace has shown flashes of the enormous potential he has, games like the one away at Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League when he picked up two assists for instance. But in general, things have been slightly more disappointing for the 22-year-old, with fitness seemingly being a key issue with him – in the Premier League, barring the opening two games of the season against Aston Villa and Manchester City respectively, he has not completed the full 90 minutes.
And against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League, he managed just 74 minutes. But under the guidance of new manager Jose Mourinho, he produced arguably one of his finest displays in a Spurs shirt so far. Having opted for Harry Winks and Eric Dier in his first game in charge against West Ham, there may have been doubts in Ndombele’s mind about where he might have fitted into the Portuguese man’s thinking.
After all, the former Manchester United boss has built up a reputation for being a defensive-minded coach, strict on discipline and positioning. But on Saturday, Ndombele showed that he has a bit of grit to go with his guile, and paid back Mourinho’s faith in him to use him in one of the two deeper-lying midfield positions. As per Sofascore, he won a remarkable 11 of his 14 total duels, and made an impressive four tackles, one interception and one clearance too.
To put those numbers into context, Ndombele has averaged just two tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 5.2 duels won per game in the Premier League as a whole. If the former Lyon man can add some defensive bite to his game as he did against Bournemouth, then he could quickly become Mourinho’s lynch-pin in midfield. The Frenchman has also been a creative spark for Spurs, what with his 1.6 dribbles and 0.7 key passes per game.
But if he can marry his more naturally gifted offensive game to some added defensive nous, then the Spurs manager may see him as the man to carry the midfield instead of two-goal hero Dele Alli.
Don’t miss out on MASSIVE savings with Fan Deal Drops – shop now for the latest deals (USING LINK HERE) on TVs, laptops, football shirts & much more.