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Tanguy Ndombele cherished the support of his ‘big brothers’ at Spurs but now faces crunch talks alone

Tanguy Ndombele cherished the support of his ‘big brothers’ at Spurs but now faces crunch talks alone



s late as Monday evening, there was still some optimism at Tottenham about finding a buyer for Tanguy Ndombele on deadline day.

By the following morning, however, when Spurs’ football committee convened to discuss their approach to the day ahead, it was acknowledged there would be no offer acceptable to the club and player, and word went around that Ndombele would be staying put again.

Ndombele, who had asked to leave the club over the summer, has been in this position before, having agitated for a transfer a year ago, too.

To the midfielder’s credit and former manager Jose Mourinho’s, Ndombele knuckled down to produce some consistent performances last season but his situation feels altogether more difficult now.


Last summer, Ndombele had support from his friends Moussa Sissoko and Serge Aurier – both influential figures in the dressing room – as well as a powerful backer in chairman Daniel Levy.

Sissoko and Aurier both left the club over the summer – Sissoko for Watford, while Spurs terminated Aurier’s contract shortly before the deadline, having also failed to find a buyer for the right-back – and Levy has since taken a back seat in running the football side of the club.

Tanguy Ndombele and Moussa Sissoko at Spurs before the latter’s exit

/ Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I

The chairman, whose pep talk to Ndombele during the 2019-20 season was captured in Amazon Prime’s fly-on-the-wall-documentary, has handed the football decisions to managing director Fabio Paratici, so the Italian and head-coach Nuno Espirito Santo will be the ones to hold talks with Ndombele this week.


Patience with the maverick Frenchman is wearing thin at Spurs, however, and it is unclear just how those discussions will progress.

Clearly the club want to get an expensive asset playing again but there is a feeling – articulated by Nuno last month – that only Ndombele himself can change his situation.