How times change. After our run to the Champions League final, it appears that we’re finally going to be dining at the top table when it comes to signings.
Recent reports have linked us with moves for French stars Adrien Rabiot and Tanguy Ndombele, and either would represent a blockbuster signing. Both have proven their qualities in Ligue 1 for the two biggest sides in France in PSG and Lyon respectively, but it’s the latter who could be the biggest game-changer for us in the years to come.
According to French publication Le10 Sport (via Sport Witness), after having a first bid rejected for Ndombele, both Spurs and Lyon are willing to get a deal done over the coming weeks. The 22-year-old has been a man in-demand with Pep Guardiola and Manchester City public admirers of the midfielder, but it appears we could be making our first big statement in recent years by beating the back-to-back Premier League champions to his signature.
As someone capable of playing as both the holding midfield role and as more of a box-to-box presence, Ndombele could be a huge player for us for a number of reasons. Not only would it make the football world sit up and take notice of Spurs as a real powerhouse in the transfer market, the Frenchman would add some much-needed ingredients to our midfield. He’d represent a significant upgrade on the likes of Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama in that ‘destroyer’ role, whilst he’d also be an exciting improvement on Moussa Sissoko, who has been brilliant for us all season.
His Lyon manager Bruno Genesio said of him (via Goal): “He’s thoughtful and intelligent. He’s interesting because he’s one of those players capable of solving tactical problems with his game intelligence.” And that intelligence is perhaps what makes him a more complete player than Sissoko, who can sometimes let himself and the team down with inconsistent decision-making, particularly in the final third.
What Ndombele doesn’t bring like his French counterpart Rabiot is the baggage. The PSG star could quite conceivably be one of the most technically gifted midfielders in European football, but such has been his poor attitude, that he’s been left side-lined and banished from the first-team by boss Thomas Tuchel.
The group Pochettino has built in his time at Spurs is rooted in respect, humility and wanting to work hard for your teammates and manager. Rabiot would bring none of that, and potentially upset the harmony in the dressing room.
So if it comes down to a choice between the two, there can only be one option. Ndombele is the archetypal Pochettino signing; young, hungry and willing to learn. And the perfect symbol of our current Lilywhites.