Jose Mourinho is backing Tanguy Ndombele to come good at Tottenham and said it is “no drama” that he is not in the starting line-up.
The France international arrived at Spurs in a club-record deal a year ago, but has hardly lit up north London since his arrival.
He has been beset by injury problems and has been left on the bench by both Mauricio Pochettino and Mourinho. Indeed, the latter has publicly criticised his performances and fitness.
Reports have emerged from France that Ndombele is not happy and wants to leave. Mourinho, however, has shut them down and the Portuguese sees no reason why the midfielder cannot become a success at Spurs.
“Nothing happens when a player has no talent,” Mourinho, who hinted Ndombele will be involved at Sheffield United, said.
“When a player has no talent, nothing happens. You are born without potential, you die without potential.
“When you have talent lots of things can change and lots of things can happen.
“I didn’t know it was but, as a year, it’s one year since he arrived but six months since I arrived. Maybe for the first six months, I am not the guy to go through what happened in the first six months. Which I think is very, very important.
“When a player arrives from a different club, a different country, from a different football culture. What happened during the first six months I don’t know.
“I know when I arrived there were problems. Injuries, small injuries, physical condition and that broke that initial impact when a player starts working with the manager. It broke the immediate impact you can have with other players.
“Football is full of players who have made difficult starts and then ended well.
“When Luka Modric arrived at Real Madrid after six months he was labelled the worst signing in their history.
“A few months later he was a champion, then a few months later he was European champion. Then a few months later he was voted the best player in the world.”
Ndombele has been an unused substitute in Tottenham’s last three games, one before the break and the first two afterwards. That has sparked more speculation about an exit.
But Mourinho says too much attention is paid to the players who do not play at Spurs.
“When you are a big club and you want to be a bigger club, you have lots of big players. You don’t have five or six, 10 or 11, you have lots of very good players. When you have lots of good players, you have lots of options.
“You can face the season, you can face all the competitions and then the players, the fans, you the press, everyone has to understand that when you have lots of good players, you can only start matches with 11.
“In many other clubs, it looks like it’s normal to have great players on the bench. You go to United, you go to Liverpool, you go to Real Madrid and lots of top players on the bench. That is normal.
Ndombele set for more game time
“In Tottenham, what I feel is every time a top player is on the bench it’s a drama. The players have to understand that it’s not a drama. You have to understand it’s not a drama and everybody has to understand it’s not a drama.
“I hope that next season that we have even more top players on the bench because it means we have to be bigger than where we are now. So when a top player is on the bench it doesn’t mean there’s a story behind it. It means that there’s lots of other options.
“The other day, when I played, (Moussa) Sissoko and (Giovani) Lo Celso, there is no drama that (Harry) Winks is not playing. No drama that Ndombele is not playing, no drama that (Erik) Lamela is not playing.
“That’s the life in big clubs. No problem with Tanguy. No problem with Tanguy. He’s in a big club where you have to compete with other guys, he’s an option for me, a very good player who will probably be playing at Sheffield United. Will also probably be playing the next match.
“There is no problem, there is no story. We are a big club with very talented players.”