Hugo Lloris has called on Tanguy Ndombele to take more responsibility in the Tottenham changing room.
The 24-year-old wasn’t involved in any of Spurs’ first five competitive games under Nuno Espirito Santo, with the Portuguese regularly stating that the midfielder isn’t yet ready for first-team action.
However, once the transfer window closed on 31 August, Ndombele’s fortunes soon changed and he returned to the squad for the draw with Crystal Palace. Despite Spurs slipping to a 3-0 defeat, though, the former Lyon man remained as an unused substitute at Selhurst Park.
But he finally made his return to the starting XI in the Europa Conference League game with Rennes, and has started all three matches since that clash in France.
One of those was the Carabao Cup win at Wolves last Wednesday when Ndombele showed the best and worst version of himself when he put Tottenham ahead with a classy finish before he was at fault for both goals Spurs conceded.
He kept his place alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Dele Alli for the north London derby defeat at Arsenal on Sunday, but speaking before the loss at the Emirates, Lloris urged the midfielder to stand up and be counted.
“Tanguy needs games, games, games, repetition of games,” the French captain told the Evening Standard. “[He needs to] try to feel this responsibility because he’s not a young player any more. And a player with his talent and quality must feel responsibility inside the changing room and the team.
“Honestly, I think he’s ready, his mind is ready. He’s here with a smile, he’s connected with the team and that’s the most important thing. Obviously, it’s the manager’s decision to play him or not play him, but I can feel his energy is back. And, for sure, he’s going to perform. I have no doubt about that.
“With Tanguy, the first season, because of the language, it was sometimes frustrating with him to be not be able to talk with the others. Today, he’s totally open and he can talk and joke and share moments. That’s very important as a player, to feel connected to the team.”