By Noel Whelan

20th Sep, 2021 | 8:30pm

Pundit 'very surprised' what Nuno just did to Ndombele at Tottenham

Noel Whelan is “very surprised” by Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s substitutions against Chelsea.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League striker questioned the decision to replace Tanguy Ndombele with Oliver Skipp just after the hour mark.

Ndombele was frozen out by Nuno Espirito Santo at the start of the season after he made it clear he wanted to leave the club in the summer.

However, the centre-midfielder was brought back into the mix last week and made his first Premier League start of the season as Spurs were beaten 3-0 at home by Chelsea.

He completed 89.2 per cent of his passes before being replaced by Skipp with the score at 2-0 (Whoscored).

When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs for his thoughts on the decision, Whelan said:

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Look, I have been very impressed by his professionalism over the last couple of weeks. We all know that he wanted to leave the club in the summer so it is commendable that he has knuckled down rather than sulk.

“It’s also testament to Nuno for starting him. He is a brilliant talent, he really is.

“How he plays and how he presents himself on the field is entirely up to himself and in the last two games I’ve been really impressed. There’s been some great touches in that midfield area.

“I was very surprised when he came off [against Chelsea]. That is no disrespect to Skipp but Ndombele is a class above him right now. Spurs needed to get back into the game and to do that you need your best players on the field, of which Ndombele is one.

“It was a strange decision and only Nuno will know the reasons behind that thinking.”

In other news, Maguire claims Levy will force Tottenham star to back down after intriguing update.