He’s in the best form of his Tottenham Hotspur career right now, which is good news for Jose Mourinho heading into tonight’s competitive Premier League encounter with Liverpool.
Tanguy Ndombele has fully turned around his Spurs career in north London, and he can cap it all off with a performance against the defending champions at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The 24-year-old monster was benched for their FA Cup fourth-round win over Championship minnows Wycombe on Monday night, but it was his influence from the bench that swung a turgid game in their favour.
He must come straight back into the starting XI this evening as he could be the man to exploit the Reds’ biggest weakness right now…
Jurgen Klopp’s men aren’t putting up the best title defence as they find themselves in fifth place, some six points behind league leaders Man City, who’ll have a game in hand after this evening.
Spurs can leapfrog them into fourth place with a victory and Ndombele could prove vital towards their chances of picking up those three points.
Indeed, the club-record signing is finally showing signs of why Daniel Levy sanctioned a whopping £55m on his signature – in his last two outings, he’s scored three goals, taking his total to six for the season on top of three assists, per Transfermarkt.
He’s fit, firing and in red-hot form right now.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has missed their last two Premier League fixtures. While he returned to training on Tuesday, he will be assessed before a decision is made on whether or not he can start in north London tonight.
If absent, it means there’s no real defensive midfield presence as Fabinho is a shoo-in to continue at centre-back given their mounting injury list.
Ndombele can exploit that void by being deployed as a no.10 and even if the Reds skipper is back, given the form the Frenchman is in, he could still punish Henderson on his first start back.
The €40m-rated (£36m) maestro tops the charts for dribbles per 90 minutes at Spurs, managing 2.9, which is almost double the next best for players that have played at least ten times with Harry Kane (1.5), Heung-min Son (1) and Lucas Moura (1), per WhoScored.
It means he’s capable of breaching the opposition’s block and press with relative ease. He has a 100% take-on success rate from the defensive midfield spot and an 85% success rate in the advanced role too.
His work-rate off-the-ball has also increased tenfold – he’s now able to play longer than an hour. Indeed, he’s surpassed 70 minutes in their last four league outings, while he’s almost quadrupled the number of high-intensity sprints from 32 in 2019/20 to 124 in 2020/21.
It’s this energy that makes him such a crucial part of Mourinho’s counter-attacking game, something that will need to be achieved to a tee to defeat Liverpool tonight.
During Monday’s win, Joe Hart turned to the BT Sport crew and delivered his verdict mid-game on Ndombele, dubbing him a “world-beater” and “unplayable,” as revealed by Rio Ferdinand in their post-game analysis.
Now ranking fourth in the Spurs squad for average WhoScored rating, Ndombele has fully transformed his career in north London and has become their game-changer in recent weeks.
He should be the first name on the team sheet tonight.
Mourinho must unleash the box-to-box dynamo on Liverpool for their best chance of picking up a result.
AND in other news, Spurs can find their next Alli in £25m “god-given” talent…