Date published: Friday 11th September 2020 9:20
Tottenham’s record signing Tanguy Ndombele had showdown talks with chairman Daniel Levy at the back end of last season.
The Frenchman, who cost Spurs £55million from Lyon last season, flopped in a torrid first year in English football, suffering injury and fitness issues, and has been linked with a move away this summer.
Ndombele fell foul of boss Jose Mourinho, who publicly criticised him on two occasions, and gave him just 64 minutes of action in the final nine games of the season after the restart.
But Spurs are keen to give him time to prove his worth and a chat between the player and Levy is shown in the last episode of Amazon Prime Video’s All or Nothing series, which airs on Monday.
Asked by the chairman what went wrong in his first year at the club, Ndombele replied: “For three months I trained hard. Everybody says I trained really well, but if I don’t play it means there must be something else.
“I’m not concentrating as I should be. I am not 100 per cent.
“I’m a fighter. I’ve always fought. I’m here today because I fought. I have never given up in football or in life.”
Levy, who is desperate for his large investment in Ndombele to pay off, is seen to be sympathetic to the Frenchman and knows he needs time.
Speaking via player liaison officer Roberto Balbontin, the chairman said: “Many players in their first season, coming from overseas, found it difficult. It is normal. Moussa (Sissoko), obviously he knows him well, he came to Tottenham and was very disappointing in the early period.
“I said to him, ‘Look I know you’re a better player than you are showing, but you have to decide what’s in your head’. The nice thing about Moussa is that he’s an absolute fighter. He was not prepared to leave the club.
Ndombele opens up
“We the club and the manager, we both believe he has the talent. He has to unlock it. Only he can turn this around.”
In another scene with Sissoko and Serge Aurier, who form a close friendship group, Ndombele opens up more about his difficulty at Spurs.
“It’s been complicated. I was injured a lot,” he said. “It’s been a season of adaptation, but it’s been OK, you guys have been there to help me.
“It’s complicated when you change country. I left France and I left my family to come here. Then it’s not easy when you change environment. The training it’s a change in intensity and even the matches.
“You have to adapt to a new life and it hasn’t been easy so far, but that’s how it is.”