Tanguy Ndombele’s nightmare spell at Tottenham Hotspur may finally be coming to an end, with Napoli reportedly in talks with the Frenchman over a potential transfer.
Ndombele has struggled to showcase his obvious talent since joining Spurs from Lyon in 2019, and issues with his fitness and work rate perhaps always meant he was going to be a victim of Antonio Conte’s ruthless training regime.
It was claimed earlier this month that the Italian manager had ‘banished’ the midfielder from his squad, so an exit was always likely to be on the cards for the 25-year-old maestro.
Football.London correspondent Alasdair Gold has provided the latest on Ndombele’s situation on Twitter, writing:
“Tottenham are also in preliminary talks with Napoli over a move for Tanguy Ndombele, but that’s still very much in the early stages.”
While Ndombele has been given regular chances to prove himself under Spurs’ previous managers, with Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo all offering the Frenchman a shot at redemption, he has been given no such chance under Conte.
The Italian has extremely high demands of his players and their fitness, so it is no surprise that the former Lyon man has made just seven appearances under the 52-year-old Italian, the fewest of any permanent Spurs manager during his time at the club.
Since Ndombele signed, he has seen the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma join the club, moving him even further down in the pecking order, so a move away from Spurs is best for both parties – although the chances of Daniel Levy recuperating his £63m transfer fee seem extremely unlikely at this point.
There is no doubting that, on his day, Ndombele can be a game-changer. Jose Mourinho called him “magnificent” after he scored a memorable goal in a win against Sheffield United, when it appeared as if he would finally turn his Tottenham career around.
But sadly the consistency has never been there, evidenced by the fact that he has made just 91 appearances in more than three years in north London, and the writing was on the wall when Conte allowed him to re-join Lyon on loan in January of last season.
Conte is certainly ruthless with his decisions on players he deems not good enough, but that is what makes him a winner.