Tottenham should beat Man City to sign Tanguy Ndombele in January
Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino has also identified Ndombele as a perfect replacement for Mousa Dembele after the youngster’s dominant display against City in the Champions League (h/t Football London).
The 21-year-old proved his excellence in the midfield against the reigning Premier League champions and stamped his authority with some crucial tackles and rampaging runs as Lyon humbled Pep Guardiola’s side 2-1 at the Etihad.
Born in France to parents of Congolese descent, Ndombele started his professional career with Ligue 1 club Amiens before moving to Lyon on a one-year loan deal in 2017. He earned a regular starter’s role with his impressive performances in central midfield and Lyon made the deal permanent this summer. He has made a total of 52 appearances for the French giants across the Ligue 1 and European competitions.
The 21-year-old has made 8 appearances for Lyon in the Ligue 1 this season, contributing with 4 assists. Furthermore, as a result of his blistering form, he made his cut into the French squad for the UEFA Nations League.
Spurs have done reasonably well in the Premier League this season with 6 wins out of their first 8 games and Pochettino’s men are currently third in the standings, just below Manchester City and Liverpool. Although they have done well against the lesser teams, Spurs have struggled to compete with the big guns as evident from their 2-1 loss against Liverpool.
Lack of quality among the reserves should definitely be a major concern for the manager. The team failed to provide cover for injured stars like Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen in the Champions League. In fact, their substitutes had no answer to Barcelona’s brilliance.
Spurs need more quality in their ranks to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title. The central midfield, in particular, requires strengthening since Mousa Dembele might be playing his last season in the Premier League. The 31-year-old has only one year remaining on his current contract and the Belgian is likely to consider a move to either China or the Middle East next season (h/t The Sun).
Manchester City, on the other hand, are also in need of a central midfielder. They need a long-term successor to replace the ageing Fernandinho. The Cityzens have been linked with Ruben Neves (Daily Mail), Lucas Tousart (Daily Star) and Adrien Rabiot (The Sun) so far.
Ndombele is a midfield powerhouse who could be an asset to either of the clubs in question but Spurs should take the initiative and table a massive bid to lure the Frenchman to London.
A player defined by strength and superior game-reading abilities, Ndombele is not only adept at cutting out the attacks from the midfield but also contributes to the build-up play from the centre of the pitch.
In the previous season, the Frenchman averaged 1.9 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game. To go with his tackling and interceptions, he is blessed with a wonderful technique. His technical ability allows him to take sharp turns with the ball at his feet and he can create that extra yard of space in the midfield to set up attacks. He averaged a whopping 2.5 dribbles a game, which is pretty unusual for a defensive midfielder.
The Frenchman is unafraid to use his upper body strength to shield the ball from the opposition and that makes him a difficult player to dispossess. The 21-year-old can also carry the ball forward with pace from the deeper areas of the pitch but his end product in the final third is quite poor.
Read More:- Opinion – Tottenham Hotspur should do the right thing and revive interest in this £45million English powerhouse
However, that should not bother Spurs as they have enough quality in the final third.
City have one of the strongest set of players in the Premier League and Spurs should look to add Tanguy Ndombele to their squad. That said, this might be the deal which makes Pochettino’s men strong title contenders in the Premier League.
Enough is enough – Man City must offload this 21-year-old flop in the January window
Manchester City should offload Oleksandr Zinchenko in January
According to Manchester Evening News, Manchester City’s out-of-favour left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko will be open to a move in January and his agent has already held discussions with Serie A club Napoli.
Zinchenko played for Shakhtar Donetsk at the youth level before joining Russian outfit FC Ufa in 2015. In Russia, he earned praises for his consistent performances and versatility and the Cityzens snapped him up for a small amount in 2016. The 21-year-old spent time on loan at PSV Eindhoven last season.
However, things haven’t changed much for Zinchenko. Benjamin Mendy’s injury opened the door for him to get regular action but Pep Guardiola preferred Fabian Delph over him. After Delph was sidelined due to an injury, Zinchenko got his opportunity against Brighton in the Premier League.
He also started in City’s 3-0 win over Oxford United in the League Cup but was benched for the Champions League tie against Hoffenheim. That decision came as a surprise because Delph and Mendy were still unfit and Zinchenko had done well in the previous game.
Despite having the Ukrainian on the bench, Guardiola fielded Aymeric Laporte as the makeshift left-back.
Quite clearly, the manager hasn’t shown trust in the player’s ability. He is one of the most versatile young talents in the Premier League since the 21-year-old exhibits the rare versatility of being able to play as an attacking midfielder, a central midfielder and a full-back.
Such versatility is difficult to come by and City should have given him more opportunities. As a matter of fact, he has started more times for his country than he has done for Manchester City.
With the quality of players in the reserves, losing Zinchenko would hardly bother Guardiola. On the other hand, a move to the Serie A wouldn’t be a bad idea for Zinchenko as he is likely to get regular minutes to enhance his development. The 21-year-old is still in the developmental phase of his career and warming the benches will not help his cause.
Standing at 5 ft 9 inches, Zinchenko has the perfect height for an attacking midfielder to keep good close control. He is capable of drifting to the side and playing dangerous crosses into the penalty area. Furthermore, he is a good reader of the game which allows him to make strong tackles and subtle interceptions – a skill that is quite unusual for an attacking midfielder.
However, there seems to be no possible way for Guardiola to accommodate him in attacking midfield. With the likes of Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva and Fernandinho, there is stiff competition for places and there is no way Zinchenko can break into the first-team picture. Also, the Cityzens have high-quality full-backs and the manager is more likely to play specialist defenders than experiment with versatile makeshift players.
Sooner or later, Zinchenko must seek greener pastures to play on a regular basis. It will be better for him to either permanently settle at a different club or play on loan at random clubs. That said, a move away from the Etihad should be ideal for all parties involved.
It is high time for Manchester City to let this 32-year-old veteran leave the club
Manchester City should allow Vincent Kompany to depart the club
According to the Mirror, Inter Milan have expressed interest in signing Manchester City centre-back Vincent Kompany next summer.
The 32-year-old is in the final year of his contract which is set to expire at the end of the season and the Cityzens are unlikely to offer the Belgian a fresh deal, particularly with the big clubs sniffing around (h/t Mirror).
A product of Anderlecht’s youth system, Kompany played for his boyhood club till 2006, following which he shifted base to the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV. Manchester City signed the Belgian in 2008 and he has proven to be one of the club’s best foreign recruits over the course of his illustrious 11-year career in the Premier League.
Kompany has accumulated a massive 338 appearances for the Cityzens across all competitions, finding the back of the net on 19 occasions.
However, the Belgian hasn’t had the best of times in his career over the past couple of years. His game time has been reduced to a large extent due to recurrent injuries. In the 2016/17 season, he made only 11 appearances in the Premier League while he featured in 17 games last season. He recovered just in time to make it to the World Cup and played a key role in Belgium’s successful campaign in Russia.
Although he hasn’t had any issues with injuries this season, Pep Guardiola has backed highly-rated youngsters Aymeric Laporte and John Stones to establish themselves as regular starters. The manager hasn’t hesitated to use the experienced Nicolas Otamendi in the heart of the defence.
As a result, he has handed starts to Kompany only on a couple of occasions. The Belgian’s involvement has been limited to only 3 games in the Premier League, one of which was a 90th-minute substitute appearance against Newcastle.
To be honest, Kompany is not the same player he was in his earlier years. Age and injuries have taken a toll on his fitness and reflexes. In the limited game time that he has received so far, the 32-year-old has looked rusty and off the pace.
In Laporte, Stones and Otamendi, City have three high-quality centre-backs and Kompany’s potential departure shouldn’t bother them much. Another centre-back, Eliaquim Mangala, has spent a lot of time on the sidelines due to injuries and is also likely to leave the club upon the expiry of his contract next summer. (h/t Mirror)
Kompany has been one of City’s key players for the past eleven years but it is now time for him to pass the baton to the likes of Stones and Laporte, both of whom are capable of developing into complete centre-backs.
At 32, there is not a lot of football left in Vincent Kompany and City should not make the mistake of offering him a new contract. In fact, a move to the Serie A should be the ideal option for Kompany.
Who is this League One sensation being chased by Tottenham and Man City? All you need to know
Who is Josh Maja? All you need to know about this Spurs and Man City target
According to Chronicle Live, Sunderland’s 19-year-old forward Josh Maja has attracted interest from Premier League clubs Manchester City, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, following his stellar run of form in the League One.
Maja has scored goals for fun in the current season, having scored 9 from 12 appearances in the League One. The 19-year-old is currently the top scorer in the third tier of English football.
The Black Cats haven’t had the best of times in the recent past, having faced back-to-back relegations. However, the meteoric rise of the teenager has given the fans something to cheer about.
As the big clubs come sniffing around, let us take a closer look at one of the brightest young prospects in the lower divisions of English football – Sunderland’s Josh Maja.
Born to Nigerian parents in the London Borough of Lewisham, Maja grew up in Pimlico, London. He played for the youth teams of Fulham and Crystal Palace but was refused a scholarship at Manchester City. However, Sunderland granted him admission to their academy and Maja signed his first professional contract in 2016. He made his professional debut in the same year in the League Cup.
Although he was a part of the Sunderland squad that was relegated from the Premier League in 2016/17, he made his mark in the next season in the Championship where he appeared 17 times and scored a goal.
And he has risen to prominence in the League One this year, spearheading his team’s attack in the absence of the regular players.
Style of Play
Maja is primarily a centre-forward but can drift to the flanks to use his pace. He has got a fairly good technique as a forward and has admirable awareness inside the box to get into scoring positions. This video gives us a clear idea of his sense of awareness as a forward –
Maja is capable of maintaining good close control and has the ability to use his pace and dribbling skills to get past the defenders in the final third. He has a tidy first-touch and does not stick to his position, often enjoying a free-roaming role in the attacking third. At times, he drops deep and uses his vision to link the play with his teammates. Take a look at this outrageous assist –
The 19-year-old is extremely confident for his age and does not lose his shape in front of the goal. He has shown a sense of maturity that belies his age in terms of composure and decision-making in the final third. A look at this video gives us a clear idea of his calmness, composure, technique and movement in front of the goal:-
What does the future hold?
Going by his raw talent, training at the big clubs will definitely take his game to a new level. Even if he remains on the fringes, he will get the opportunity to train with some of the best players around and that should do a world of good for the youngster.
A regular starting place in the Premier League might be far away but few can deny that he has a bright future ahead of him.
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