After two transfer windows without a signing, Tottenham Hotspur have once again rejoined the chaos that is the transfer market and are on the brink of bringing in two fresh faces. Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon is expected to join for £55m and Jack Clarke is expected to swap Yorkshire for North London in a deal worth around £10m.
But how with these two new signings fit into Spurs’ first team squad? Let’s start with Dembele.
The 22-year-old will slot into the deep central midfield role, protecting the back line and breaking up play. A tough tackler, Ndombele is seen as a direct replacement for Moussa Dembele, who left for China in January. He has averaged a whopping 2.7 tackles per game last season for Lyon, more than Victor Wanyama (2.3), Eric Dier (1.5) and Sissoko (1.4), making him the perfect fit for this role. He also made one interception per game last term which is less than Dier (1.3) and Winks (1.2) but more than Wanyama (0.6).
Going forward and controlling the tempo is important for Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and Ndombele can flourish in that area. With a passing accuracy of 89.1% he will improve Spurs’ ball retention greatly, in fact, only Harry Winks (91.8%) boasted a higher pass rate completion than him in the Spurs midfield last term.
Dier and Wanyama are not especially strong in retaining the ball so Ndombele will provide the best of both worlds and looks like being a top investment for Daniel Levy.
Meanwhile, Clarke promises to be an impressive signing for the future. At just 18, he played a bit part for Leeds last term, making 24 appearances with 20 of those coming off the bench.
Playing out wide on either side he provided a positive and energetic option for legendary boss Marcelo Bielsa but was used sparsely throughout the season. This upcoming campaign was going to be a big one either way for Clarke, now his move to Tottenham is close, he will have to step up a level to get into the first team.
With two goals and two assists last season the youngster did not set the Championship alight but he did show promise and has the potential to become a top-class Premier League player. He averaged 0.8 shots per game, 0.7 key passes per game and 1.1 dribbles per game, showing the attacking quality he has in the final third.
For comparison reasons, Lucas Moura, who played most of last season up front and had an outstanding campaign had 1.4 shots per game in the Premier League, 0.8 key passes per game and 1.4 dribbles per game. Decent.
Clarke’s ability to run with the ball is his biggest strength and if he can work on his final product he could be another shrewd signing from the lower leagues for Spurs. Dele Alli worked out a treat and there are some bargains to be had from England’s lower tiers.
So Ndombele will go straight into the first team and strengthen Mauricio Pochettino’s side immediately. Clarke is more likely to be used off the bench and in cup games, but after a season of development training with top players, he could become a key man for the North London side.