Mauricio Pochettino admits it has been “difficult” for Tottenham Hotspur newcomer Tanguy Ndombele to adapt to his system but has called for patience.
The 22-year-old French midfielder completed a club-record £55.5m move from Lyon last month and has so far played a prominent role in pre-season.
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- Spurs suffered in central midfield last season due to a combination of inconsistency and injury problems.
- Mousa Dembele left for China in January, while Eric Dier and Harry Winks struggled for game time.
- As such, Ndombele was secured from Lyon to bolster that area.
- So far the Frenchman has caught the eye in pre-season leaving Spurs fans excited for the new campaign.
- However, the midfielder is believed to be finding the adjustment to Pochettino’s system difficult, but the head coach has pleaded for patience.
Pochettino sought to recruit a central midfielder following the departure of Mousa Dembele to Guangzhou R&F last winter, and Ndombele has so far looked capable of filling his void.
He played a key role in the 3-2 pre-season win over Juventus, teeing up Lucas Moura with his first ever touch, and has since started in matches against Manchester United, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.
The latest, a penalty shootout defeat to the Nerazzurri in the International Champions Cup at the new White Hart Lane on Sunday, was the first chance for north Londoners to be given the chance to see their new recruit up close and personal.
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He played 80 minutes before coming off for Harvey White in the concluding pre-season bout, and after the match Pochettino spoke about how fans can’t expect fireworks from match one, but rather to wait for their new midfield enforcer to develop over time.
He said: “For him it’s difficult. We cannot expect too much. We need to accept he needs time to adapt to first a new culture, a new country, new habits.
“Of course it’s only him who arrived to the club and that makes it more difficult. When a few are new they can help each other but it’s only him.
“We need to give him time but I am happy in the way he is adapting. He is open to improve and learn but needs time to see the best version of him.”
Spurs start the new Premier League campaign at home to Aston Villa on Saturday before travelling to reigning champions Manchester City the following week.