Jose Mourinho has urged some of his underperforming stars to follow the example of Tanguy Ndombele at Tottenham Hotspur.
The midfielder was criticised by the Spurs boss in March 2020, with the Portuguese questioning the player’s desire after a game at Burnley.
However, he has bounced back since then and produced another excellent display at Sheffield United on Sunday.
Ndombele bagged a superb goal to make it 3-1 to Spurs at Bramall Lane to leave Mourinho delighted at how he has turned things around.
“I have coached for so many years and had so many players, I have enough experience to say and to feel that when a player is not playing well it’s his responsibility,” he told Sky Sports.
“When a player turns things around and brings performance level to a very high level it is also his responsibility.
“With me, the door is always open, even after a difficult period last season. The door is always open when a player wants to come in the direction of the team. The team is on the other side of the door, if the player wants to walk through the door it’s open.
“The goal is amazing, but I don’t care about the goal, I care about the performance and the performance was magnificent and I’m really pleased that he’s come to this level. He’s playing very, very well.”
Ndombele will undoubtedly have been pleased to hear Mourinho praise his performance against the Blades.
However, as is often the case with the Portuguese, it highly likely that there was another layer to his comments.
The likes of Dele Alli and Gareth Bale have failed to convince Mourinho that they can be part of his vision for the club.
The pair have struggled for game time under Mourinho and both face an uncertain future at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
However, as highlighted by the turnaround in Ndombele’s fortunes, there is still time for them to salvage their careers at Spurs if they are prepared to put in the hard work demanded by Mourinho.