We haven’t seen Tanguy Ndombele play a minute of first team action this season for Tottenham Hotspur, and over time it’s come out that the reason is that Tanguy asked to leave the club this summer. That precipitated Nuno Espirito Santo effectively deciding not to play him as he didn’t want to give first team minutes to an unsettled player who didn’t want to be there over players who are fighting for minutes.
Tottenham and Managing Director of Football Fabio Paratici has spent most of the summer trying to find someone — anyone — to take Tanguy either permanently or on loan, but on a deal that won’t cause Spurs to lose their shirt on their record signing. That hasn’t gone so well. Now, the Athletic (£) is reporting that Tanguy is very likely to stay at Tottenham past the summer transfer window deadline tomorrow.
If there is one man who could step into the breach and provide something of a solution, other than the precocious but possibly lightweight Bryan Gil, it is Tanguy Ndombele. The France midfielder has not played one competitive minute for Nuno yet after he asked to leave Spurs when he returned for pre-season. Ndombele wanted a move to Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. But as hard as Tottenham worked, trying to find him a loan deal or a swap, nothing could be successfully agreed. So it has been decided that, unless there is a late change of heart, Ndombele is set to stay at Tottenham for now instead.
— Jack Pitt-Brooke, The Athletic
On the one hand, having an unsettled player who has privately agitated for a move away from the club be forced to stay at a place where he doesn’t want to be isn’t a good situation for either club or player. However, we already know Tanguy’s talent and ability are at a very high level, and if properly reintegrated and motivated he could be an absolute game changer for Spurs’ central midfield.
The opening three games have shown Spurs’ midfield trio of Oliver Skipp, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, and Dele have a solid defensive spine, but that same combination of players has struggled somewhat to progress the ball centrally. Inserting Ndombele (or Giovani Lo Celso, eventually) would in theory give Spurs an extra dimension to their midfield attack. Having this happen will require both Nuno Espirito Santo and Tanguy Ndombele to commit to making things work in the short term, but under the right conditions it could pay off handsomely.
The alternative would be an unhappy Tanguy sulking and refusing to play, but based on the happy photos of him in training, that seems like an unlikely scenario. Ndombele’s best option to escape Spurs might just be to play his way out of the club.