Tottenham Hotspur have made their second signing of the summer when they reportedly acquired Tanguy Ndombele from Ligue 1 outfit Olympique Lyon. We say second because the Spurs also signed Jack Clarke, but they loaned him back to Leeds United as soon as the deal was announced so technically, Ndombele could be considered as the Spurs’ first real signing ahead of the 2019-20 season.
The London-based outfit spent more than 500 days without signing a player in the transfer window, and they couldn’t have done a better job when choosing who to sign. Ndombele was one of the most sought-after players in the market, and several top sides had already enquired after him. The Spurs beat the likes of Juventus and Manchester City to sign the talented 22-year-old defensive midfielder.
He wasn’t cheap, though. Tottenham had to spend €60 million to acquire him, and the deal could have €10M more in several add-ons. But make no mistake. Ndombele has enough potential to become one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League – and perhaps all over Europe – sooner than later.
What made him one of the most wanted players in Europe this summer?
The France international caught the eye of several teams due to his displays for Lyon, and all those traits are what make him a perfect fit for the Premier League. He can chase opposing players for the entire match, but at the same time he’s composed on the ball and rarely misplaces a pass. Ndombele can hold up play if needed, speed things up with a through ball, or dictate the tempo when on possession. And if that’s not enough, he can be a monster on the attacking end due to his quality touch and strong shot with both feet.
The numbers might not reflect it, since Ndombele only one has one goal in his past two seasons with Lyon. But he has delivered 14 assists over that span as well, showing he’s not just a player who can create havoc defensively. He’s a beast on the attacking end as well and opposing sides shouldn’t give him much space to roam free or create in the final meters.
Perfect fit for Tottenham’s system
As if those traits were not enough, Ndombele also fits Mauricio Pochettino’s scheme. Opposing playmakers could have nightmares when facing Tottenham, as they would have to deal with two strong players such as Ndombele and Victor Wanyama. The French star represents a clear upgrade over other central midfielder alternatives for the Spurs such as Eric Dier and Harry Winks. And if Christian Eriksen stays, then the Dane will be able to go back into his preferred role as an attacking midfielder. Ndombele can take his place as a deep-lying playmaker alongside either Wanyama or Moussa Sissoko.
Only time will tell whether Ndombele is capable of making the leap from Ligue 1 to the Premier League. But he has enough quality, experience and talent to become a force on English soil as soon as he debuts for the Spurs in the EPL next season.
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