Tanguy Ndombele: Why the French Powerhouse Is Mauricio Pochettino’s Missing Link at Tottenham

​Can you believe it? Tottenham have actually signed someone! Their 18-month self-imposed exile from the transfer market has come to an end, and not just with a new backup striker who continues to astound with his lack of movement (hi, Fernando Llorente). Mauricio Pochettino is back with a bang, striking a deal for Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele. If you’re going to wait so long to make a signing, you better make sure your return to the transfer market is huge, and this deal really is enormous. For years, ​Spurs have been almost incredible. They are one of the best sides in Europe but, as Giorgio Chiellini will ​remind you, they are not the best. They have been missing that final piece of the puzzle to propel themselves to the next level. Enter Ndombele. ​Mousa Dembele’s decline hit Spurs hard, and his January move to China left them without any real energy in midfield. ​Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama have both been too inconsistent, whilst Harry Winks is a completely different midfielder.  They need that presence back in the heart of the pitch, and Ndombele is the man for the job. The 22-year-old is a powerful, box-to-box machine who can bring physicality and energy to Spurs’ side, but he is far more than just a body. Ndombele’s technical ability makes him as close to the perfect blueprint for a midfielder as possible. Not only can he channel his inner ​N’Golo Kante and chase down possession for days, but once he recovers the ball, he then has the grace and technical ability to make some magic happen. An incredible decision-maker, Ndombele knows exactly what needs to be done. He may not be the world’s finest creator, but he is more than capable of threading a delicious through-ball to create a chance out of nothing. He will give Spurs a much-needed option from deep. In this current side, there almost seems to be a perfect divide between defence and attack. Spurs have the likes of Dier and Wanyama who are instructed to give the ball to the creative players like ​Dele Alli, ​Son Heung-min and ​Christian Eriksen (who may or may not be around next season), and their attack was guilty of becoming too one-dimensional at times. That is why Moussa Sissoko’s emergence towards the end of last season was a breath of fresh air for Spurs. Like Ndombele, he was that missing link between defence and attack, meaning opposition defenders were forced to pay attention to him. If only he was more reliable on the ball. Ndombele is a huge, more consistent upgrade on Sissoko, and he will help guide Spurs to new heights. They need trophies, and signing Ndombele looks like the perfect way to get them.

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