Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Tanguy Ndombele is “not ready” to start for Spurs in the Europa League tomorrow.
The 23-year-old got just 45 minutes under his belt for Tottenham in pre-season after missing out on the early matches through injury, though he did feature off the bench against Everton.
With Spurs taking on Bulgaria’s Lokomotiv Plovdiv away in their Europa League second qualifying round fixture on Thursday evening, Mourinho was asked by Football London whether Ndombele or Giovani Lo Celso could start.
“I believe that Tanguy, no,” replied the Tottenham manager. “Tanguy is in a process of evolution, very positive. Finished the season injured and in bad condition, didn’t start pre-season – again injured. On top of that, other health problems.
“Working hard, he knows what we want from him. He’s trying hard to have minutes. It’s a good thing for him. To be ready to start is something we – and I include him in this discussion because we discussed his situation together – he’s not ready to start of play for 90 minutes, no.”
While Ndombele’s maiden Spurs campaign proved difficult for numerous reasons, Mourinho is clearly not giving up on the £200,000-a-week ace, and his cameo against Everton saw plenty of fans praise his efforts.
As things stand he’s still not ready for a full 90 minutes but there’s a good chance he’ll feature off the bench once again, and with a congested fixture list awaiting Spurs, he’ll hopefully be up to speed in due time.