Tottenham have been heavily linked both to Lyon's Tanguy Ndombele and Real Betis' Giovani Lo Celso this summer, as they look to strengthen their midfield ahead of the 2019/20 season. 


Mousa Dembele's decline in performance with age and sale in January 2019 to Chinese club Guangzhou R&F left a gaping hole in Tottenham's midfield last season, not helped by injury hit seasons for Eric Dier, Harry Winks and Victor Wanyama. 


Moussa Sissoko's vast improvement on previous seasons was vital to ​Tottenham finishing in the top four and reaching the Champions League final, but more quality is necessary if they are to challenge for the Premier League, and regularly reach the last eight of the Champions League.


Much is dependent on ​Christian Eriksen's potential sale - the Dane has only 12 months left on his deal - and he has expressed his desire for a fresh challenge this summer. 


However, ​Real Madrid are the only club to have been strongly associated with a swoop for the playmaker, and, with recent acquisitions Luka Jovic and ​Eden Hazard commanding hefty fees - as well as increasing links to ​Paul Pogba - the chances of Eriksen joining Los Blancos are becoming slimmer.


Assuming that Eriksen will remain at Tottenham, therefore, let's assess which of Ndombele or Lo Celso is more suited to playing their football at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium next season. 


Shooting​

FBL-EUR-C3-BETIS-RENNES

With 14 goals to his name last season - in comparison to Ndombele's three - it is clear that Lo Celso is the more prolific goal scorer of the two midfielders. He also managed this in less games, starting 33 times in league and European games, compared to Ndombele's 38 starts. 


However, a major difference can be found in their playing positions. Whereas Ndombele was exclusively deployed in central midfield, Lo Celso often played as an attacking midfielder or even as a forward. As a deeper lying midfielder, the Argentinian scored just four of his goals.


This remains a better tally than Ndombele's however, and it is clear that the former PSG man has more of an eye for goal and a sweeter finish in his locker.


Passing

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFIER-FRA-AND

Lo Celso completed an average of 44.5 passes per game during the previous La Liga season, at a passing rate of 83%. In contrast, Ndombele - in Ligue 1 - averaged 57.7 passes per game at a passing rate of 89.1%, indicating that he is the more accurate and frequent passer. 


However, this alone would not necessarily make Ndombele the better passer. Passing ability includes not just short and safe passes, but decisive and dangerous ones. 


In any case, Ndombele made more key passes per game than Lo Celso - 1.4 compared to 0.8 - suggesting that he is in fact the overall more accomplished passer, as these were the final balls played before a strike on goal.


Dribbling

FBL-ARG-VEN-FRIENDLY

In their respective domestic leagues, the two players were very similar in their amount of completed dribbles per game. Lo Celso edges the category with 2.1 compared to Ndombele's 1.9, suggesting that both are very accomplished dribblers, particularly for central midfielders. 


Accounting for European football, however, and Ndombele comes out on top. Whereas Lo Celso completed 1.7 dribbles per game in the Europa league, Ndombele achieved 2.9 per game in the Champions League, a larger disparity and in a tougher competition.


Defending

FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-LYON

Lo Celso completed 1.6 tackles per game in La Liga last season, while Nombele succeeded in making 1.9 tackles per game in Ligue 1, suggesting there's not a huge gulf in their ball winning abilities. 


This is further emphasised by Lo Celso's 0.5 interceptions per game being edged by Ndombele's 0.9, suggesting the Lyon star is marginally better at winning the ball back.


Potential

FBL-EUR-C3-RENNES-BETIS

Aged just 22 (Ndombele) and 23 (Lo Celso) respectively, both of these players have a long and prosperous career ahead of them.


Ndombele has only ever sampled Ligue 1 football, and he'll know that he must step up a level if he is to be considered one of the leading central midfielders in world football.


Lo Celso, on the other hand, has proven that he can adapt to live in different countries, after spending three years on PSG's books prior to his permanent switch to Betis. He began his career in his native Argentina, so his exposure to different styles of football is bound to have stood him in good stead.


Ndombele's game appears to be more rounded than Lo Celso's, but the attacking midfielder has that 'x-factor' about him, proving that he has the ability to win matches single handedly. For that reason, he shades this category with a slightly brighter star.



Overall

FBL-EURO-2020-FRA

Victorious in regards to passing, dribbling and defending, Ndombele comes out on top 3-2 on categories - indicating that is he the primary target Tottenham should be focussing on. 


Lo Celso does score more goals and is capable of playing further up the pitch, and is therefore more suited as a direct Eriksen replacement compared to the Frenchman. 


But, in terms of an overall package, the Frenchman's statistics indicate that he could do a better all around job for Mauricio Pochettino's side - even though he'll have detractors that say Ligue 1 isn't up to the same standards of La Liga.