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5 midfielders Tottenham should target amid fresh Ndombele uncertainty

Ndombele not involved in season so far News last week broke that Tanguy Ndombele wanted to leave this summer, having failed to feature at all in pre-season or in Tottenham’s opening two Premier League fixtures.

Tanguy Ndombele has told Tottenham he wants to leave the club, having failed to make a single appearance in any game since Nuno Espirito Santo took over earlier this summer.

— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 20, 2021

The Frenchman remains Spurs’ record signing, setting the club back 54 million pounds when he joined from Lyon in 2019. However, two seasons and 75 appearances later, it seems that his time in north London may be coming to an end.

An accomplished dribbler, Ndombele is a technically gifted option in Tottenham’s midfield, but is perhaps lacking somewhat defensively, something that Spurs may wish to upgrade on.

With that in mind, 101 takes a look at five options that Spurs could look at to replace their Frenchman.

1. Houssem Aouar [Lyon] Returning their young troublemaking Lyon midfielder in exchange for another young troublemaking Lyon midfield, what could possibly go wrong?

Houssem Aouar was hot property last summer, reportedly linked with a 60 million pound move to north London rivals Arsenal, but has, this summer been left like the last girl at the dance. Despite having his price-tag slashed to just 25 million pounds, he has still seemingly failed to attract concrete interest from clubs other than Tottenham.

Via @skysports_sheth – Tottenham interested in signing Lyon attacking midfielder Houssem Aouar. Informal talks held with player’s representatives. Aouar has 2 years left on his contract and will weigh up all options. Likely to have more interested parties next summer. #THFC https://t.co/pcVur8620z

— Michael Bridge (@MichaelBridge_) August 24, 2021

Good on the ball, and with a rare ability to receive the ball on the half-turn, he would offer Nuno Espirito Santo something akin to Ndombele’s ability on the ball, and would help to link the new-look defence with Harry Kane.

Certainly worth a punt.

2. Remo Freuler [Atalanta] A different profile of midfielder to Ndombele, but perhaps one more suited to Nuno’s preferred system, Freuler is a hardworking midfielder who tends to be a ball carrier as opposed to a particularly clinical player in the final third, as his two goals last campaign demonstrate.

Most times possession won in the attacking third in Serie A last season

Remo Freuler – 34

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – 30 pic.twitter.com/ZBUvZp1jaH

— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 8, 2021

As the above stat shows, he is an accomplished presser too, able to create turnovers high up the pitch for Atalanta to take advantage of and, in turn, score from. With the likes of Heung Min-Son and Lucas Moura already in the side, he could fit in well.

3. Corentin Tolisso [Bayern Munich] Another rumoured addition, Corentin Tolisso has seemingly been around forever yet is somehow still only 27 years old. As per Sky Sports, Bayern Munich have already tabled a bid for Ndombele that involved money and the out of favour Bayern midfielder, but that was rejected by Levy an co.


Bayern Munich are interested in a player swap with Tottenham that involves Tanguy Ndombele for Corentin Tolisso.

❌ Spurs refused the first proposal which was €20m and Tolisso. pic.twitter.com/Zc4V6DZYfO

— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 21, 2021

Stylistically, Tolisso could be a promising addition, and would certainly add a great deal of top-level and, perhaps crucially, winning experience to the Tottenham midfield. However, his injury record is a major concern, having missed 78 games (as per transfermarkt) in the four years he has been at Bayern due to a variety of injuries.

If Spurs could find a way to keep him fit, he could be a brilliant addition, but the “if” may be the major sticking point.

4. Nahitan Nandez [Cagliari] Another option that has been explored by Tottenham this summer is Cagliari enforcer Nahitan Nandez. The Uruguayan is capable in central midfield or on the right-hand side, and has impressed in his two seasons in the Serie A, providing four goals and seven assists in 73 appearances.

Tottenham have approached Cagliari for Nahitan Nández, as revealed yesterday. He’s in Spurs list as potential new signing but there’s no official bid yet. ⚪️ #THFC

Tottenham will decide soon whether sign Nandez or not. He’s on the market, price tag around €25/30m. #Spurs https://t.co/WYMFv3g2u8

— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 16, 2021

However, he is perhaps the least similar to Ndombele on this list, and is much more defensively active than the current Lilywhite. However, he lacks the technical gifts that make Ndombele such a mercurial footballer. Nandez would offer solid, dependable performances, but Tottenham already have that with Hojbjerg. They need more creativity.

5. Lorenzo Pellegrini [AS Roma] More of an attacking option, but one that is also comfortable in the centre of midfield, Lorenzo Pellegrini is currently plying his trade for AS Roma. Ostensibly, Pellegrini has a release clause of 30 million euros, but with his contract due to expire in 2022, could likely be signed for less than that figure.

He would certainly add goals to Tottenham’s midfield,  scoring 11 times last season and already up and running this season. He is also a capable dribbler of the ball, and at 25 years old, is coming into the prime of his career.


Nuestro primer gol de la temporada es suyo #ASRoma #UECL #TSRoma pic.twitter.com/SzBzio7r1f

— AS Roma Español (@ASRomaEspanol) August 19, 2021

Alongside Pierre Emile Hojbjerg or Oliver Skipp, he could form a menacing midfield pairing.

Who would you choose to replace Ndombele?

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