Tanguy Ndombele has been a source of criticism for Jose Mourinho since the Portuguese took over as Tottenham Hotspur manager, replacing Mauricio Pochettino – but he has responded on Instagram ahead of Tuesday’s match against RB Leipzig.
Ndombele, 23, has been in and out of the side since Mourinho took over. Ex-Chelsea manager Mourinho started the France international on Saturday, but hooked him at half-time as Spurs drew with Burnley. He said this about Ndombele after the tie.
“In the first half we didn’t have a midfield,” Mourinho said, as per The Mail. “Of course I’m not speaking of Skipp because he’s a kid of 19 who’s played two hours in the last few days. I don’t criticise him at all.
“But I’m not going to run away and I have to say he [Ndombele] has had enough time to come to a different level. I know the Premier League is difficult, and some players take a long time to adapt to a different league.”
Much debate has been had about Mourinho’s treatment and comments of club-record signing Ndombele. The overriding feeling is that Mourinho has been somewhat harsh on the ex-Lyon ace, in what is an obvious ploy to coax a reaction out of him.
Ndombele is in the squad to take on RB Leipzig on Tuesday and ahead of the match the midfielder posted on Instagram in what is seemingly a sly dig at Mourinho – captioning a picture: “Keep the smile”.
Spurs are up against it in the second leg of the last 16 Champions League tie against Leipzig, a match which Ndombele could start. However, he may be benched given Mourinho’s comments, and that Harry Winks and Gio Lo Celso were rested.
Steven Bergwijn has been ruled out of the match with a fractured ankle, while Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Ben Davies, Juan Foyth and Moussa Sissoko are all sidelined through injury. Dele Alli is likely to start up front.