Tottenham Hotspur

Tanguy Ndombele reveals why he couldn't settle at Tottenham

Jude Summerfield
Ndombele was a huge disappointment at Spurs
Ndombele was a huge disappointment at Spurs / Julian Finney/GettyImages
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Tanguy Ndombele has admitted he struggled to settle at Tottenham and revealed the constant manager changes did not help.

The French midfielder was brought in as Spurs' record signing in the summer of 2019 but his arrival coincided with a downturn in the club's fortunes, as their form slumped under Mauricio Pochettino and then Jose Mourinho.

Interim boss Ryan Mason rarely played the midfielder, while Nuno Espirito Santo didn't fancy him during his brief tenure in north London.

His final appearance came during the FA Cup victory over Morecambe when he was booed off the pitch, with current manager Antonio Conte soon giving his blessing to a loan move to Lyon.

Ndombele said: “I’ve known five managers in two and a half years. It’s not their fault, but I struggled a bit at Tottenham. I wanted something else. Lyon, because I know it, it’s better to adapt.”

There had been speculation that Ndombele would rejoin former Spurs boss Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain, and he has revealed how the saga played out.

“There were talks with quite a lot of clubs, but there was a gap between words and actions. I have three and a half months before the end of the season, and Lyon isn’t bad for me. I left through the front door, and returning is a risk. I took that risk.

“I think I’m a better player than when I left. I learned things in England, even if it didn’t go well. I’m better physically and mentally.”

On a potential return to Tottenham, he added: “It’s not over. I still belong to the club. I didn’t have pressure from the transfer amount.”

Ndombele had brief moments of positive form - strangely mainly under divisive manager Mourinho - but has fallen behind Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Harry Winks in the midfield pecking order, while Rodrigo Bentancur has been brought in from Juventus.


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