The truth regarding the exit from Tottenham of Tanguy Ndombele has been revealed, as the midfielder reportedly told Genoa they were not at his level.
It cost upwards of £60million for Spurs to sign Ndombele from Lyon in 2019. Since the record transfer, the Frenchman has played just 91 times in all competitions for Tottenham, and done rather little in that time.
As a result, he’s been sent out on loan to three different clubs.
Ndombele returned to Lyon for the 2020/21 campaign, before moving to Napoli the following season. Not being in the plans of new Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou, he was given a few opportunities to move away for a third loan spell this summer.
Nottingham Forest and Galatasaray were two of the most likely routes, and the latter were the side that managed to snap him up, alongside teammate Davinson Sanchez.
While both those sides were subject to reports of interest and Galatasaray obviously got the deal done, another side found themselves in a very good position to snare Ndombele.
Indeed, Genoa were the frontrunners for his signature for a while.
As per La Repubblica cited by (Napoli Magazine) Tottenham had initially sent a representative to Italy to discuss business at one of the Serie A side’s games early on in the season.
Ndombele brutally turns down Genoa
The first stage of negotiations had clearly gone well, as the report states a private flight had been booked from London, so that the new signing would be available as quickly as possible.
However, things fell through when Ndombele pulled the plug himself with a scathing blow that suggested the Serie A side were beneath him.
Indeed, it’s reported he told Genoa: “You are a newly promoted side, I want to play in the Champions League.”
He got his wish to play in Europe’s elite competition with Galatasaray, so things seem to have worked out well for the Frenchman.
Ndombele must perform to avoid ignominy
However, whether he’s in a position to make those demands is a question in itself.
While Ndombele played nine times in the Champions League last season, both scoring and assisting, he’s not exactly covered himself in glory over the past few seasons.
A player that can’t get a game at Tottenham demanding Champions League football is slightly strange.
Indeed, he’d not have gotten any European football at all had he been good enough to stay with Spurs this season.
In any case, he has now got it, and will hope he makes the most of it, as with his Tottenham contract ticking down, he’ll want to make enough of an impression in order to get himself a permanent move.
He’ll also need to do well as he’ll be left with egg on his face if he turned down a move in order to play Champions League only to fail.