José Mourinho Cites Luka Modric Example as He Backs Tanguy Ndombele to Come Good

Jose Mourinho and Tanguy Ndombele have both had tough first seasons at Spurs | IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho has insisted he still believes in record signing Tanguy Ndombele, adding that the Frenchman can still turn things around.

Ndombele has endured a tough debut season in England marred by fitness and form issues and has recently found himself benched by Mourinho, while there have been reports of a breakdown in relationship between the two.

Tanguy Ndombele
Ndombele has struggled since his summer move from Lyon | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Southampton's Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has been touted as a potential replacement for the struggling Frenchman, who is said to have told Mourinho that he wants to leave this summer, but the boss insisted that Ndombele still has time to get it together.

“If you don’t have talent, you don’t have any chance," Mourinho said of Ndombele (via The Telegraph). "If you have talent, you have a chance.

“Football is full of players who have made difficult starts and then ended well. When Luka Modrić arrived at Real Madrid after six months he was labelled the worst signing in their history. A few months later he was a champion, then a few months later he was European champion and then a few months later he was voted the best player in the world. So when the talent is there many things can happen with adaptation.”

Luka Modric
Luka Modric was slated during his debut season with Real Madrid | Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Ndombele has started just 12 Premier League games so far this season and has been an unused substitute in both of Spurs' matches since the restart, but Mourinho believes that having good players on the bench is a sign of a team's quality.

“When you are a big club and you want to be a bigger club, you have lots of big players, you don’t have fix or six, 10 or 11, you have lots of very good players,” he added. “When you have lots of good players, you have lots of options.

"You can face the season, you can face all the competitions and then the players, the fans, you the press, everyone has to understand that when you have lots of good players, you can only start matches with 11.

Tanguy Ndombele
Mourinho believes having Ndombele on the bench is a sign of strength | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

“In many other clubs, it looks like it’s normal to have great players on the bench. You go to United, you go to Liverpool, you go to Real Madrid, you go to Barcelona, Bayern Munich have lots of top players on the bench. That is normal.

“In Tottenham, what I feel is every time a top player is on the bench it’s a drama and the players have to understand that it’s not a drama. You have to understand it’s not a drama and everybody has to understand it’s not a drama."

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