Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele looks set to complete his move to Tottenham Hotspur in the coming days.
It’s believed the club have agreed a £65million deal for the 22-year-old who Mauricio Pochettino has been desperate to sign, with Manchester United and Juventus also chasing him
Spurs haven’t made a single signing for the last two transfer windows, but the drought is about to end with Ndombele coming in.
Speaking to Telefoot recently, the France international midfielder admitted he would find it hard to resist a move to Spurs.
He said: “It’s true that Tottenham are a great team – a big club. They finished fourth in their league, they were finalists in the Champions League.
“They are a big club like many others. Which player would not be interested in a big club?”
Who is Tanguy Ndombele?Ndombele had a rough start to life in football. He was reportedly turned down by several clubs as a youngster for being overweight.
Since then, however, his rise has been incredible.
As recently as 2016, he was playing in the fifth tier of French football with Amiens’ reserve team.
The midfielder quickly made the step up to the first team and helped them earn promotion to Ligue 1 in 2017.
Tanguy Ndombele – 2018/19
Club: Olympique Lyonnais
Position: Central midfielder
Ligue 1 appearances: 34
Champions League appearances: 8
Yellow cards: 3
Tackles per 90: 2.3
Interceptions per 90: 1.1
Successful dribbles per 90: 2.3
Key passes per 90: 1.4
Shots per 90: 1.1
Pass success: 89 per cent
His performances caught the eye of French giants Lyon, who opted to sign Ndombele on loan at the start of the 2017/18 season.
The deal included an option to buy for €8million, which turned out to be a bargain after the Frenchman’s impressive debut season in the top-flight.
Following an even more eye-catching 2018/19 campaign, which saw him grab two Champions League goals, a host of clubs across Europe have registered their interest.
A recent poll by AS asked Real Madrid fans who they want the club to sign this summer, and more voted for Ndombele than Paul Pogba.
How does he play?
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has previously compared Ndombele to former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien.
Earlier this season, he impressed against Manchester City in the Champions League.
On countless occasions, he was able to escape the City press with ease and pick a pass, demonstrating his forward-minded approach.
His combination of power and technical ability make him an old-fashioned box-to-box midfielder, who can be effective in attack or defence.
Christophe Pellissier, his former Amiens coach, summed it up well: “He is very good with the ball, dazzles with his shot, breaks lines with the ball at his foot, his technical quality allows him to play more advanced, while his intelligence allows him to adopt a more defensive role.”
However, for someone who gets forward from midfield, the 22-year-old is far from prolific.
He scored just one goal in 34 Ligue 1 appearances this season and Lyon manager, Bruno Genesio, admits Ndombele must improve his finishing.
“He has to go one last step in finishing, the only thing he needs to become a great player. He lacks some concentration in the final third but he has the technical quality to do it,” Genesio said.
Has he played for France?
Ndombele was called up for his country last October and made his debut as a substitute against Iceland.
His first start came towards the end of the year, against Uruguay, and he has since earned four caps for Les Bleus.
France head coach Didier Deschamps said: “He knows how to do everything in the middle, he is powerful, technical.”
How will he fit in at Tottenham Hotspur?
Ndombele is versatile when it comes to midfield roles having played in two-man and three-man central partnerships.
More often than not, Ndombele will play towards the right but is more than capable on the left if need, which will make Mauricio Pochettino’s side much more adaptable during in-game situations.
He’s also spent plenty of time as a deeper-lying midfielder so will be comfortable shielding his new defence if required.
If Spurs attempt their narrow 4-3-1-2 again, which they tried to get right last season with limited success, we’re likely to see Ndombele on the right of a three with, at the moment, Harry Winks as a No.6 making things tick, allowing Dele Alli and his possible new team-mate to progress with the ball.
Christian Eriksen would play ahead of the trio, along with Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son as forwards to stretch opposing defences.