Tanguy Ndombele: What will Lyon midfielder bring to Tottenham?
Ndombele had previously been linked with Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus
Last Updated: 02/07/19 3:19pm
Spurs have signed Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele for a club-record £65m but what will the highly-rated Frenchman bring to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium?
Ndombele had his medical at Spurs' training ground on Tuesday ahead of the transfer.
The 22-year-old has signed a five-year contract with an option for a further 12 months.
Speaking on Tuesday's Transfer Talk - Sky Sports' new transfer show - Anton Toloui says it is obvious why Mauricio Pochettino wanted to bring the player to north London this summer.
'Top target, top player'
"You think about when Tottenham tried to sign Hugo Lloris a few years ago and Lyon do not mind going public to try and get other clubs involved," said the Sky Sports News reporter.
"And other clubs were in for Ndombele, he was second on Man City's hitlist for their central-midfield position. Rodri is their top target, but if that had fallen through, they may very well have come in for Ndombele.
"That is why Tottenham wanted to get this deal done early. That is why they have paid the fee Lyon wanted. Top target, top player who will add something different to that midfield."
'His pace and dynamism bring something different '
Toloui also thinks Ndombele's impressive physical attributes will make him an ideal addition to the Premier League.
"His tackling is superb, never mind his box-to-box ability and that gives you an assurance there and with real dynamism and real pace that maybe the likes of Eric Dier do not necessarily have," he said.
"He does bring something different to this team and Tottenham are looking for those tiny things that can push them into that top two."
Where will he fit in at Spurs?
Ndombele would slot straight into central midfield at Tottenham, an area in which Pochettino's side have lacked depth since Mousa Dembele's departure to Chinese side Guanzhou R&F in January.
The 22-year-old could play at the base of the 4-2-3-1 formation commonly used by Pochettino, but he is also comfortable playing in other midfield roles and in other systems. That versatility was apparent at Lyon last season, with Lyon boss Bruno Genesio using eight different formations in Ligue 1.
Ndombele is tactically intelligent and, interestingly, he is also a similar kind of player to Dembele, who Pochettino once described as a "genius". Like the Belgian, Ndombele is an accomplished dribbler who is excellent at retaining possession and carrying the ball forward. Last season at Lyon, only Bertrand Traore averaged more successful dribbles per 90 minutes.
Ndombele's dribbling ability should add penetration and unpredictability to Tottenham's midfield. It's just one of the reasons why they are willing to shatter their transfer record in order to bring him in.
Where can he improve?
Genesio, Lyon's head coach up until the end of last season, has described Ndombele as "thoughtful and intelligent" and "providing balance" to the team.
Genesio also said earlier this season the midfielder needs to work on his finishing.
"He has to go one last step in finishing, the only thing he needs to become a great player," Genesio said. "He lacks some concentration in the final third but he has the technical quality to do it."
Ndombele's late winner in Lyon's 3-2 win over Nimes on the final day of last season was his first in 65 Ligue 1 appearances, showing the room for improvement in that regard, but his assists total underlines his creative ability. He also ranked third among Lyon players for key passes, with 47.
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