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Tanguy Ndombele to miss Tottenham’s next match as exit rumors swirl

The Tanguy Ndiscourse continues.

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton FC - FA Cup Fourth Round: Replay Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

In today’s pre-match press conference ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s upcoming match at Wolves, head coach Nuno Espirito Santo gave an update on Tanguy Ndombele. It wasn’t good. Nuno confirmed that, after missing last Sunday’s win over Manchester City and last night’s loss to Pacos de Ferreira, Ndombele will not be with the team for the trip to Molineux.

So that’s not great! The continuing question that swirls around Tanguy is, as always, why. Jack Pitt-Brooke, Charlie Eccleshare’s colleague at the Athletic seemed to drop some pretty big hints in the most recent episode of The View from the Lane podcast, basically confirming that Tanguy is tired of life at Tottenham and wants to leave the club... but Pitt-Brooke also did a pretty good job explaining why that’s exceedingly unlikely.

“I don’t think he wants to [play another match for Spurs]. Clearly he has asked to leave which is why he’s not on the team. The problem is I think he has unrealistic expectations on where he might go. I gather that Ndombele is under the impression that Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are queuing up to sign him.

“I am a huge Ndombele fan. I absolutely love watching Ndombele, he’s a really exciting player to watch and write about over the last two seasons. I genuinely wish him all the best.

“But Real Madrid & Barcelona don’t have any money. It’s going to be very very hard for Ndombele to get this move that he wants. It’s a little bit like Kane in a sense, he’s kind of caught in limbo at the moment — he wants to leave Spurs, but the move that he wants he’s unlikely to get. Frankly, I think he’s less likely to get his move than the one that Kane wants.”

— Jack Pitt-Brooke, A View from the Lane podcast (The Athletic)

This is a pretty astute summary of the situation, as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s pretty clear by now that Tanguy wants out. I also think it’s pretty clear that unless something pretty significant happens regarding interest from other clubs, he’s going to remain a Tottenham Hotspur player at least until January.

The harsh reality for Tanguy — as well as for players Spurs are keen to offload like Moussa Sissoko, Harry Winks, and Serge Aurier — is that there just isn’t money available outside the Premier League for transfers. It makes it a buyer’s market, but getting clubs to sell is a serious problem. Tanguy is Tottenham’s record signing who is on £200k/week wages, which makes it even more difficult. The parallel to Harry Kane’s situation is astute, though at least in Kane’s situation there’s one club that’s actually interested (if trying to low-ball the bid).

I’m with Pitt-Brooke on this one. I like Tanguy. I’m not ready to get rid of him. I hate that he’s unhappy here and that we haven’t gotten the best out of him, though I’ll leave the discussion of why that is for another time. I also think he won’t be sold this summer, will gradually be reintegrated into the team, and will end up playing about 2000 minutes or so this season, like he did last year. He’ll be amazing at his job and a bunch of Spurs fans wil still think he isn’t good enough. And if that leads to interest for him after the financial situation stabilizes, then maybe Spurs can sell him.

In short, Ndombele can want out all he wants. I really don’t think he’s going to get his move.