Tanguy Ndombele: The French Football Journeyman

Tanguy Ndombele is a popular French player of Congolese descent who has been a total journeyman throughout his pro football career. Ever since becoming a senior professional in 2014, Tanguy Ndombele has moved from one team to another. He is currently on loan to Napoli (his seventh move as a professional footballer). Maybe it was the extreme pressure of pro football or the rigours of fighting for a spot on the highly competitive French National team, but Tanguy Ndombele has really struggled to build a steady career with one club. In this post, we will talk more about Tanguy Ndombele. Let’s get started.

Tanguy Ndombele: All You Need To Know

How was the start of Tanguy Ndombele’s pro football career?

The Olympique Lyonnais midfielder, who was called up by Didier Deschamps for the matches against Iceland, Thursday, October 11, and Germany, Tuesday, October 16, was still playing in August 2017 in Amiens, just promoted to Ligue 1. A year earlier, on August 9, 2016, he only made his professional debut in an obscure Picards League Cup match against Clermont.

Mbappe, who scored four goals against OL on Sunday, October 7, became world champion in 2018; Ndombele, meanwhile, went through the box of the France hopefuls team and quickly adapted to the high level on his arrival in Lyon, third in the last French championship.

How was Tanguy Ndombele scouted?

Youth coach Sylvain Ripoll detected Ndombele’s potential while he was still playing for Amiens. The midfielder had also been authorized to sign for OL during his first meeting in the antechamber of the Blues.

“When you perform well in the club, in the selection, when you are consistent at the top level, the chances of knocking on the door of the A’s are greater,” comments Sylvain Ripoll. Tanguy has very specific and rare qualities. As we often say, he hits and breaks the lines, but above all, he has that dazzling first touch of the ball, which gives speed to the game and creates an imbalance in the opponent. 

Amiens coach Christophe Pelissier is also not surprised by the rise of his former foal: “I have always said that he was an exceptional player for us. After a week with the group, we understood that he was not going to leave it. He was a trainee and we made him sign pro. The French team? If he continued to work, that’s the fate I predicted for him when he left us.”

The ability to take each new step with disconcerting ease finds an explanation in his character. “The pressure has no hold on him. He is carefree and this is what allows him to perform immediately. Now, we’ll see if he can also do it with the Blues,” wonders Pelissier.

Is Tanguy Ndombele reckless and careless?

However, this carelessness sometimes bordered on a certain nonchalance. Tanguy Ndombele has indeed experienced the bitter taste of failure. In Guingamp, which he discovered at 14 and which he will find Thursday evening with the Blues, the teenager first experienced difficult times, going so far as to be rejected after three years, in 2014 Talented, the apprentice footballer let himself live a little. However, when he relaxes, he tends to gain weight.

At the time director of the training center of En Avant, Lionel Rouxel, current coach of the 19-year-old tricolor, remembers his passage: “Tanguy was not ready for the requirement of the high level. We pushed him a bit, we tried to get the most out of him, but he didn’t make the effort on and off the pitch. On the other hand, the qualities he has today, he already had them.”

Without a club, Tanguy Ndombele was then refused by other training centers, in Angers, Caen or Auxerre, before finding unexpected salvation in Amiens. How to explain this metamorphosis? “When you’re up against the wall, you no longer have a choice. He became aware of the necessary efforts once he was in another club. The club and I are not disappointed. I’m happy for him, but we can have regrets. At one point, we couldn’t anymore, we had to say stop. In the end, this kick in the butt was beneficial to him.”

How are Tanguy Ndombele’s communication skills?

If Ndombele has taken on an undeniable football dimension, the young man still has an area where he has everything to learn, communication. He did not digest the passage from Amiens’ anonymity to the spotlight in Lyon. His ex-trainer Christophe Pélissier deciphers his personality: “He is someone shy outside, silent even with the staff. He is different inside the group, where he is appreciated. As soon as you scratch the shell a little, everything changes. He’s a good boy.”

In Lyon, you have to see him do everything to escape the media at the end of the matches, in the famous mixed zone open to the press. “He tries to plot by hiding behind the billboards so as not to answer questions. He has not yet understood that he is now in a big club with the resulting media obligations, ”says Razik Brikh, OL follower for Lyon Capitale magazine.

A little before the announcement of the selection of Ndombele, the journalist from Lyon had a funny experience in an interview. “He came in saying he hoped it wasn’t going to be too long and he didn’t feel like talking. He gave short answers. It was complicated, and yet the interview was benevolent and had nothing of a trap, says Razik Brikh. I felt sincere. It wasn’t mean, but he really didn’t think he had anything special to say. He is still a little naive. He has not yet understood that it is not enough to play football well.

Internally, at the club, fans were also worried about the idea of ​​​​seeing him pass on the grill of the press conference with the Blues. Didier Deschamps, who attached great importance to the controlled communication of his players, naturally inquired about the media skills of Tanguy Ndombele. Coincidence or not, it is finally the own chain of the French Federation that collected the first words of the new international. His appearance at a press conference will have to wait a little longer. For the moment, it is only on the ground that we will judge his international debut.

How was Tanguy Ndombele’s first season with the Tottenham Hotspurs?

Fragile, in bad shape and often injured, Tanguy Ndombele spent a very complicated first season with the Spurs. His coach, Jose Mourinho, had certainly not helped matters by taking him most of the time as a target at press conferences. His form came back, he played much more, he was radiant and had a decisive role with Tottenham that season. 

After a high-level 2018/2019 season with Olympique Lyonnais, Tanguy Ndombele was courted by major European clubs in the following transfer window. Brilliant in almost all his matches with OL, all eyes were on him. This is how he went to Tottenham in the summer of 2019 for the sum of 60 million euros.

But his beginnings were quite complicated with the Spurs. Indeed, he arrived from Lyon in bad shape and did not fail to be criticized in England. And as soon as José Mourinho arrived at Spurs, replacing Mauricio Pochettino, The Special One quickly noticed Tanguy Ndombele ‘s poor form. The Portuguese coach quickly took him for his No. 1 target. ” He’s hurt all the time,” he said. “He’s injured, he’s not injured anymore, he’s playing a game… It’s been like that since the start of the season.“ His usual nonchalance on the pitch certainly did not plead in his favor.”

How did Tanguy Ndombele regain his form?

Certainly touched in his pride, the Frenchman was able to regain control. Indeed, he appeared in good shape as soon as this season resumed. He was able to use the time of confinement to his advantage by working hard to get back in shape. And that, Mourinho did not fail to notice and underline it in the media. Since then, it was a rebirth for Tanguy Ndombele who found himself on the pitch in almost every game. He illuminated the Spurs with his technique and his vision of the game, as evidenced by his magnificent goal scored against Sheffield United. A masterpiece that did not fail to delight Spurs supporters.

This goal arrived after Jose Mourinho demonstrated the reasons for his newfound confidence in the French player. It was at a press conference on January 17, before the match against Sheffield United. These statements apparently did not fall on deaf ears.

“I have enough experience to feel that when a player (Ndombele) is not very good, it is his responsibility. But it is also his responsibility to change things and play again at a very high level. It’s a perfect example that the door is always open with me. The team’s door is always open”, Mourinho said.

Did Tanguy Ndombele’s return to form help him with his Euro 2021 chances?

This return to form and at the highest level came at a very important moment for his international career. Indeed, while he played in one of the best English clubs and he was very good during his Tottenham stint, he failed to make the French National Team for Euro 2021. This omission from the French team left many fans scratching their heads. Ndombele brings a lot to this team, especially when it comes to his ball retention and his vision of the game. His absence from the French team was definitely strange but Ndombele is just 26 years old and he has some time left before the lid on his international career is sealed shut. 

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