Darren Bent has revealed that he is puzzled by the form of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs striker admitted that he was expecting a lot more from the Frenchman during his first season in England following a £54 million club record transfer last summer.
The 23-year-old has struggled to establish himself as a key player for Jose Mourinho’s men this term, and was publicly criticised by his manager after his poor showing against Burnley last week.
Jamie Carragher then corroborated Mourinho’s viewpoint by suggesting that the midfielder’s performance was a “disgrace”.
And Bent has claimed that Ndombele needs to do a lot more if he is to reach the level expected of him in north London.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I think he needs time to settle, but I have questioned what exactly is going on at Spurs, and what is going on with him?
“He doesn’t seem to be able to play back-to-back 90 minutes, and he doesn’t seem to last 90 minutes either. Is it an issue with his fitness, or is he not quite ready to play yet?
“Either way, for the amount of money they paid for him, you’ve got to be ready to go off the bat, straight away. He’s not.
“There’s clearly an underlying issue there, and I think that’s what Mourinho is alluding to by saying ‘we need him to up his levels’.
“When you pay that kind of fee for somebody, I was really, really excited to see what he can do. But for whatever reason, it’s just not worked out for him yet.”
Ndombele has made 19 appearances in the Premier League so far this season, including 12 starts, but has registered just two goals and two assists for Spurs.
Of those matches, the player has completed a full 90 minutes on just three occasions.
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