This summer saw Tottenham Hotspur smash their transfer fee record with the £65 million purchase of Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele. An exciting transfer to say the least given his impressive final season at the French club.
So impressive in fact that he was gathering interest from Barcelona and Manchester City. But it was Spurs who made the plunge and pulled off one of the biggest summer signings this year.
Despite it still being the early days of the new season, Ndombele has already proved himself to be a crucial figure in Spurs’ team. Firstly, scoring the equalising goal against Aston Villa on his Premier League debut. Then more recently putting in a good performance against Manchester City and setting up Spurs’ first goal.
Central midfield has been a problematic position recently for Spurs. With the departure of Moussa Dembele, the injury issues of Harry Winks and the rotation of Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama. Spurs desperately needed someone to come in and command the defensive midfield position.
Ndombele already looks the part to hold down that position for the future. His style of play is what the Premier League has been evolving to. A fast, technical and intelligent holding midfielder that can create attacking plays very quickly.
A prime example is Fernandinho at Manchester City, who has seen his role progress from defensively orientated to attacking maestro. Considering how all the top teams strive to play out from the back, the role of central midfielders has become even more significant.
But the way Ndombele has already seemed to have mastered this at the young age of 22 is only a huge positive for Spurs and English football.
In the game against Manchester City, his footballing intelligence shone through in a tough match. The way he manipulated his body and the ball to break through tight spaces City constantly put teams under was effortless. This then put Spurs on the attack as they tried to get a result at one of the toughest stadiums to visit.
One criticism of his game though is the lack of awareness of opposition attacking players around him. For example, Kevin De Bruyne who dominated the first half, getting too much space to cause damage in the Spurs half.
However, if Ndombele continues on his impressive start to life in the Premier League, then it isn’t beyond the realms of reason that he could end the year at Spurs’ player of the year.
He will have tough competition for this accolade though. With last years winner Heung-Min Son yet to make an appearance for Spurs this season. And of course, the favourite, Harry Kane is always up for any award.
But without looking too far forward in the future. Spurs fans should be thrilled with Ndombele and what he can do for this team.