Martin Keown has given a glowing verdict on the quality of Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, who he has described as “integral” to the system of manager Jose Mourinho.
Despite signing for £53.8million (BBC) in July 2019, it’s not been all plain sailing for Ndombele in a Spurs shirt.
The 24-year-old has had his ups and downs for the club, especially under Mourinho, and there were question marks over whether his signing from Lyon was a mistake.
He is a box-to-box central midfielder with plenty of flair, which is why at the start of the manager’s reign it was difficult for him to get regular minutes.
But the Frenchman deserves immense credit for the way he’s turned it around, as he’s now a regular in the starting XI and he’s added a defensive streak to this game.
The attacking midfielder shows quality on the ball and is an attacking threat still, but his work-rate out of possession is now unrecognisable and he covers so much ground.
Pundit and ex-Arsenal defender Keown believes that Ndombele is now “underrated” for his defensive work.
“You can’t believe the amount of work Ndombele does out of possession… He’s underrated Ndombele, what he does, he sits on the deep-lying midfield player for the opposition,” Keown told talkSPORT.
“The amount of work he gets through, it’s integral to Mourinho’s tactics that he likes to employ.
Ndombele has responded to harsh treatment from Mourinho at the start by becoming essential for him.
The fact he works so hard on the pitch may be a reason why he rarely completes 90 minutes, but he must be delighted to be playing regularly.
He’s added the attributes to his game to force his way into Mourinho’s side and supporters now need to start seeing even more from his as an attacking threat, as he’s a physical presence that is so difficult to stop when he gets dribbling at full tilt.