Nuno Espirito Santo insists Tanguy Ndombele is very much back in his Tottenham thinking – but has called for patience from those expecting him to immediately solve their midfield issues.
The Frenchman made his first appearance of the season in Thursday’s 2-2 Europa Conference League draw with Rennes. It’s a welcome relief for Tottenham with the player having asked to leave before the campaign started.
Indeed, at that point it seemed an exit was a certainty, having been told there was ‘no way back’ for him at Spurs.
The club’s record buy has been inconsistent since his £55.4m move from Lyon two years ago. Indeed, having been in and out of Jose Mourinho’s side, he then found himself axed by interim boss Ryan Mason at the end of last season.
However, his return to the Tottenham ranks looks timely. Their midfield was way off the pace in their previous match at Palace. Indeed, this article named three players deserving of the Tottenham axe in the wake of the 3-0 defeat.
Thankfully, Ndombele showed glimpses of what he is capable of at Rennes. His audacious off-balance backheel helped set up Spurs’ opener and he was clearly the player most likely to break the lines.
As such, many people see him as the answer to help solve Spurs’ creativity issues.
However, despite the optimism, Nuno remains cautious.
“It was the first game Tanguy was involved in since the beginning of the season,” Nuno said.
“We had all the pre-season and we are already playing Premier League and European competition and it was Tanguy’s first game so let’s be patient.”
Ndombele could be involved as Spurs host title contenders Chelsea on Sunday.
Nuno talks up Tuchel success
While Spurs have stuttered since their run to the 2019 Champions League final, Chelsea are on the rise in the wake of Thomas Tuchel’s appointment.
He led them to Champions League glory last season and most see them as credible challengers to Manchester City for the Premier League title.
Nuno is not surprised at how quickly the German has turned things around at Stamford Bridge.
“(They are a) very good team. Thomas is doing an amazing job,” Nuno stated.
“They have an amazing squad, talented players, they play good football, they are organised, they are intense. They are European champions so we must value that as we do to all of the opponents. But on Sunday we will compete, that’s a promise.
“No, there’s no surprise at all. Thomas already did an amazing job at Borussia Dortmund (and was) fantastic at PSG. He and his coaching staff have enormous quality. I am not surprised by the success of Thomas.
“For me it is not a surprise because you can see how good they play.”