4 minute read

2/7/2019 | 08:40am

While Tottenham have yet to finalise a deal for Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombélé, the London Evening Standard claim that a fee has been agreed and the Lilywhites hope a deal will be completed by the end of the week.

The technically outstanding midfielder impressed for Lyon last season, registering eight goal contributions (one goal, seven assists) in Ligue 1, and he also rated highly when performing in the Champions League for the French side having attained an average rating of 7.4 per Whoscored.

His performances at club level have translated into opportunities on the international stage, and to date, the 22-year-old has amassed six caps for France. Seemingly, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are poised to sign an enterprising midfielder endowed with great promise, but what have the experts had to say about him?

Bruno Génésio, former Lyon player and manager

“He is strong physically and above all technically. With the first touch he manages to pass even three players, and when he starts, he is difficult to stop.

“He’s precise with his passing, he has a nice dribble. I do not like comparisons, but in fact Ndombélé can be a new Pogba.”

Evidenced by his goal contributions and by the comments of his former manager, as reported by Tuttosport (via Goal), one of the 22-year-old’s primary strengths is his passing ability – a quality very much aligned with the expansive style of play that Pochettino has established at Spurs.

Impressively, the Frenchman averaged 1.4 key passes in the league last season, and he flaunted an impressive pass success rate of 89.1%. He was clearly involved in the playmaking endeavours of his side, averaging almost 58 passes (57.7) a game.

Mark Langdon, Digital Football Editor Racing Post

“He’s one of the best around for his age. In terms of playing style, Ndombélé is about as close as you’re going to get to Moussa Dembele.”

Langdon was full of praise for the midfielder while speaking to talkSPORT. While considering that Spurs have yet to replace Dembele, who departed for China in January, such comparisons are likely to delight the Tottenham faithful.

Capable of operating as a central midfielder or in a slightly deeper role as a defensive midfielder, such versatility and tactical flexibility will be of tremendous benefit to Tottenham’s midfield.

In addition to his impressive passing and attacking statistics, he has proven to be defensively competent, a prerequisite of any good box-to-box midfielder.

Last season, he averaged almost two tackles (1.9) per league game, while also achieving just shy of one interception (0.9) per game.

Julien Laurens, French football expert

“There is some Yaya Touré in him. The way he drives the ball forward, his technical ability, his power. At 1m81, he is not the tallest, but he is so strong and it’s so hard to get the ball off him. He is perfectly suited for the Premier League and England is surely his most likely destination once he leaves Lyon.”

As French football expert Julien Laurens alluded to in an article for Unibet, Ndombélé’s skill set is well-suited to the physical demands of the Premier League. He even compared the Frenchman to Yaya Toure, a modern Premier League great, and Tottenham supporters will be delighted if their new signing is able to emulate the success that the Ivorian midfielder enjoyed during his time in England’s top-flight.

Verdict

Given the wide-ranging admiration for the midfielder and the acknowledgement of his technical and physical qualities, one senses that Tottenham are on the brink of landing a tremendous talent – one that will help elevate the quality of their squad.

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