There aren’t many gaps in Mauricio Pochettino’s team at Tottenham. Over the years, the Argentine has been able to build a remarkable team with a limited pool of resources, and whilst players like Harry Kane and Dele Alli get most of the headlines, supplementary players like Ben Davies and Harry Winks have become just as important.
However, the squad isn’t perfect, and in particular, there’s a real problem for Spurs in the heart of the midfield. Specifically, Tottenham lack the quality and, indeed, the depth to compete at the highest level in that area of the pitch. Between Eric Dier, Harry Winks, Mousa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama, there’s little strength available to Pochettino in contrast to a team like Man City, for example. It speaks volumes that none of the aforementioned players would likely get close to City’s, Arsenal’s or, indeed, Chelsea’s team – and that’s a problem.
It is, however, a problem that Spurs want to fix. Indeed, according to the Express, the Lilywhites are keen on Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, who has impressed over in France in recent years. Significantly, Man City are said to be leading the race for the in-demand 21-year-old, and Spurs face an uphill battle to land him.
That said, it’s a battle that they must take part in, as in Ndombele, Spurs could find the perfect target.
The 22-year-old has turned into the lynchpin of the Lyon first team, and having amassed 24 appearances in Ligue 1 this season, he’s amongst the most crucial players serving at the French outfit. Typically playing as a central midfielder, he’s able to have an impact at both ends of the field, such is the versatility of his skillet. He’s able to break-up play and tackle strongly whilst also making use of his brilliant positioning to slow down the opposition, but he’s also just as capable picking up the ball and driving towards goal before leading with a brilliant offensive pass. It’s no real surprise that he’s picked up 5 assists in the league this season, despite much of his focus often being on the defensive side of the game. On average, as per Whoscored, he picks up around 2.3 dribbles per game, whilst he also manages around 63 passes per game, highlighting the regularity of his involvement.
So, not only does he serve as the focal point of the Lyon defence, he’s also able to control the game going forward, making him the ideal player to sit in the heart of the midfield.
He’s also perfect for the Premier League. Despite standing at a relatively small 5ft9, Ndombele has a lot of physical strength, and that would allow him to settle in England, and that’s particularly important in such a key area of the field.
Significantly, Ndombele is at the perfect age for Pochettino, too. Typically, the Argentine has favoured interest in younger players with a view to developing them in his own image, as he did with the likes of Dele Alli and Davinson Sanchez, among others. At 22-years-old, the Frenchman is a player with some experience whilst still having youth on his side, and that will allow the manager to turn him into the perfect player for Tottenham.
In truth, Ndombele ticks all the boxes for Spurs – other than price. He’d be a costly acquisition, at around £50 million, and that is a number that is likely to put off Daniel Levy – hence Man City’s emergence as the leaders in the race. However, in the case of the Lyon man, that would be money well spent.