After a lengthy self imposed exodus from the transfer market, Tottenham finally came back to the scene by completing two deals in one day in early July for Jack Clarke and Tanguy Ndombele, the latter being the more exciting arrival of the two (for the time being at least).
Costing a club record €60m plus €10m in bonuses, Ndombele is exactly the kind of player Spurs have needed since the exit of Mousa Dembele: an elusive, powerful central midfielder who breezes past opponents with ease.
Manchester United, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain were all mentioned as potential destinations for the Frenchman at various points, but Mauricio Pochettino eventually got his man following a drawn out saga.
So what can Spurs fans expect from their latest new arrival? Here are six things to know about the big money signing…
1. He Is Already a France International
Following a strong start to the 2018/19 season, France manager Didier Deschamps rewarded Ndombele with a first senior call up to the senior Bleus squad.
The combative midfielder made his debut on October 11 when he came on as a substitute for Paul Pogba in the second half of their friendly against Iceland, though he was unable to turn the tide for Deschamps’ men as the game finished 2-2.
Originally of Congolese descent, Ndombele was born in France and was capped for the Under-21 side on 11 separate occasions. He now has six caps with the first team, having also featured in the impressive 2-1 defeat of Germany in the Nations League.
2. He’s Got an Eye for Assists
Standing just under 6′ tall, Ndombele goes about his business in the middle of the park by getting on the ball and beating his man with his strong dribbling skills. It’s his ability to create space for himself in this manner which allows him to then pick out a pass.
Despite making only 130 senior appearances, the Frenchman already boasts 23 assists to his name. While goals aren’t something he will give you in abundance – he managed just four for Lyon in two seasons – you can expect Ndombele to regularly set up opportunities for more prolific finishers.
3. He Is Being Compared With Some of the Best European Talent Around
Whenever the Frenchman’s name is brought up, the likes of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot (amongst others) are usually mentioned in the same conversation.
There is no doubting Ndombele’s star is firmly embedded on the European map – with Spurs beating some of the biggest teams around for his signature.
4. He’ll Have Plenty of Buddies at Tottenham
Whereas Tottenham used to be renowned for their Belgian group, a French contingent is now breaking out in similar fashion in north London.
Hugo Lloris has been a mainstay since his arrival in 2012, while Moussa Sissoko established himself as a key player during the 2018/19 season. Georges-Kevin Nkoudou is still knocking about, too.
So Ndombele won’t be short of a friend or two at Spurs – which could help the transition phase of adapting to the Premier League become that much easier.
5. He Was Released By Guingamp at 16
While things are looking pretty rosy for Ndombele right now, at one point it looked like he wouldn’t make it at the highest level of pro football.
He was released by Guingamp aged 16 and joined Amiens soon after, playing mainly in the reserves during his first season in northern France. Things changed when he helped the club achieve promotion to Ligue 1 in 2017 for the first time in their 116 year tenure.
The rest, as they say, is history.