Tanguy Ndombélé struggled with injuries and poor form in his first season at Tottenham Hotspur.
Over the past few months, there’s been repeat claims of the midfielder being unhappy under José Mourinho, and a desire of wanting to leave Spurs saw him linked to clubs across Europe.
The 23-year-old came off the bench to score the winner in his side’s 2-1 win over Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Europa League qualifiers on Thursday.
“Tanguy is in a process of evolution. Last season he was not. At the moment he is training very, very well. Right now, I believe in Tanguy. I never doubted his quality. Never. There were times when I doubted his motivation, his commitment and his professional attitude. But I believe in him,” Mourinho said after the European tie.
L’Equipe provides a background on what has changed for Ndombélé at the north London club.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy played a key role to ‘connect the broken thread’ between the Frenchman and the former Chelsea manager.
The newspaper states it was ‘unimaginable’ three months ago to see Mourinho publicly praise Ndombélé like he did earlier this week. Since then, there have been regular contacts between the two parties, and the two ‘got closer’ in September, thanks to Levy.
After returning from vacation, the player had a detailed chat with his manager, and it was done with an intention to ‘settle differences’. Even though the discussion was not ‘particularly warm’, it resulted in a ‘form of stability pact and the need to maintain a professional relationship’
As per the claims, the former Lyon star has changed his stance and privately insists he doesn’t want to flop at the English club.
The player is of the belief he should be able to raise the level of performances and feature regularly this season.
A few months ago, Inter Milan offered Milan Škriniar in exchange for Ndombélé. Mourinho didn’t dismiss this possibility, but Levy did.
A fortnight ago, Juventus wanted to take the Spurs midfielder and were ready to use Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi as bargaining chips. This time it was Mourinho who closed the door on a potential exchange deal.
L’Equipe end their report by saying, ‘Barring another twist, the soap opera between Mourinho and Ndombele will experience a new chapter in the coming months’.