Tottenham Hotspur will face Southampton in the replay of the F.A Cup fourth round tonight, and club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele will hope to impress following his impactful cameo against Manchester City on Sunday.
The £54 million signing has battled with injuries since arriving from Lyon last summer, starting just 10 Premier League games so far.
As a result, Ndombele is yet to hit the ground running at the North London club, and frustrated Spurs boss Jose Mourinho thinks he didn’t have a proper pre-season, hence his lack of fitness.
“He didn’t have a proper pre-season, then he had injuries in Mauricio’s time and then I arrived and he has had injuries again,” Mourinho told football.london.
“Not big things, but small things which stop him and break his evolution. Then he played with me a first match against Norwich for 90 minutes and it was the only match where he played for 90. Then he breaks again. We are trying to give him the best possible condition for not to have another stop.”
“We are taking care of him at every level. We are doing a global programme with him to try to take care of him. We are talking about his work with the group, his individual work, his sports science, his nutrition, everything. It’s like a full package to try to give him the best condition.”
Ndombele suffered a hamstring injury in September that kept him out of a month before he picked up a groin injury on the first day of the New Year.
The 23-year-old had no injury records at Amiens and Lyon, and while Mourinho claims he didn’t have a proper pre-season, it’s worth noting that he joined Tottenham on July 2 – six days before the players officially resumed for pre-season training.
However, the French international appeared to have struggled with Mauricio Pochettino’s training methods, admitting during Tottenham’s tour of Asia that he had found the training sessions very hard, and that definitely played a huge role in his fitness struggles.