Some players, when given the opportunity, fail to take their chances at top football clubs. However, some also step up when they get that chance, and during pre-season, you can certainly make the argument that Georges-Kevin N’Koudou has taken his, despite his limited minutes.
The Frenchman wasn’t involved for the Shanghai or Singapore legs of the Lilywhites’ pre-season tour, yet he travelled to Munich for the Audi Cup and featured at the club’s home ground as they faced Inter Milan yesterday.
Across those three games, the fans watched on as the winger played just 90 minutes of football in total. That was enough time for the 24-year-old to get an assist when he spectacularly set up Erik Lamela for the opener in the Audi Cup final against Bayern Munich.
Whilst the Frenchman was then subbed against Bayern and wasn’t on the pitch for the penalty shootout, that wasn’t the case for the Inter Milan clash at home. When that finished 1-1, N’Koudou wasn’t afraid to put his name forward and take one of the five spot-kicks.
The former Monaco and Burnley loanee took the third kick, and produced a lovely panenka penalty, chipping it into the back of the net in front of a delighted home crowd. It proved to be in vain, as Christian Eriksen and Oliver Skipp both missed, but N’Koudou certainly got the fans off their feet.
If the Frenchman is showing the same spark and desire in training as he is in games then there is no reason why he shouldn’t get a chance in Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side. On the winger-front, Jack Clarke has been signed and loaned back to Leeds, so there is still room for the Frenchman.
We have no expectation of N’Koudou to step up and usurp the likes of Heung-Min Son or Lucas Moura but giving him the opportunity to play in the domestic cups and off the bench, providing rotation for those ahead of him, the wide-man should be given another chance by Mauricio Pochettino.