Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tanguy Ndombélé has revealed that there are no hard feelings between himself and his manager José Mourinho, despite the Portuguese’s harsh criticism of his fitness in recent weeks.
Ndombélé arrived in north London in the summer from French side Lyon for £54m, but was bought by Mourinho’s predecessor, Mauricio Pochettino. Since the arrival of the former Chelsea manager, the French midfielder has been out of the squad for more than half his games in charge.
This has led to Mourinho bemoaning Ndombélé’s fitness in public, but the Frenchman has claimed that this criticism has not had a negative impact on their relationship.
Ndombélé évoque la sortie de José Mourinho en conférence de presse concernant ses blessures : “Ce sont des amis qui m’ont prévenu, on en a rigolé. Y’a aucun soucis avec le coach.” #Téléfoot pic.twitter.com/07rXf8dGRI
— Téléfoot (@telefoot_TF1) January 26, 2020
Speaking about his reaction to Mourinho’s comments concerning his fitness, Ndombélé said: “Friends warned me, we laughed,” as quoted by the French publication Telefoot.
He continued: “There are no problems with the coach.”
The 23-year-old made the squad for only the seventh time in 17 games under Mourinho against Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday, but failed to make an appearance as his side gave up their lead in the 87th minute.
In fact, Ndombélé’s only minutes of football in 2020 came on New Year’s Day, when the Frenchman was replaced after 25 minutes against Southampton as Tottenham slumped to a 1-0 defeat in the Premier League.
This did not lead to a particularly warm reception from his manager who, when asked about his return at the time, said:
“Ndombélé not even coming. Injured and with lots of problems, so you cannot compare what was four years ago in the cycle of four years to what it is now. So we have to work,” as quoted by football.london.
After a great start to life in the capital, with one goal and as many assists in his first two games, Ndombélé’s development has stalled due to injury and managerial upheaval. But the promising midfielder is insistent that his relationship with the man in charge has not been harmed despite the harsh criticism.