Antonio Conte sets challenge for Tanguy Ndombele as he tells Spurs ace he can’t be selfish

Antonio Conte satisfied despite stalemate

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Antonio Conte has challenged out of favour midfielder Tanguy Ndombele as he prepares for his first Premier League game home game in charge of Tottenham. Ndombele signed for Spurs from French side Lyon in 2019 in a club-record deal worth £53.8million.

But the move has so far not worked out in the way that it was hoped, with Ndombele struggling with injury and fitness problems, which have prevented him from nailing down a regular starting berth.

The 24-year-old has not started in either of Conte’s two games as Spurs boss, but has featured from the substitutes bench in both contests.

And with Conte set to be without the suspended Oliver Skipp on Sunday, one of Harry Winks or Ndombele will enter the fray and partner Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Speaking ahead of his side’s league game against Leeds, Conte has said Ndombele can’t be selfish if he is to have a successful career with the club.

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“I have seen many managers struggle with his position,” Conte said.

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“He has the quality. He has to understand it is a team and he has to play into the team.

“It is important to do what the position asks you to do. We are working very hard.

“He has to work much more than the others.

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“He has talent but he has to put it into the team for the team, not for the single player.

“Every single player has to know what he has to do. If every player just runs around the pitch, it will be a mess.”

Ndombele has made 86 appearances for Spurs so far, scoring ten times, but neither Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho, nor Conte, have been able to get the best out of the French midfielder.

Spurs are currently ninth in the Premier League with 16 points from the first 11 games, leaving them six points behind Liverpool – who occupy the final Champions League spot.

Conte’s side will play host to a Leeds side who are unbeaten in their last three league games and the Spurs boss will be hoping for his first three points in charge of his new side at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

They will then turn their attention back to Europe, where they will travel to Slovenia to take on minnows Mura in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

Spurs are second in Group G with seven points – three behind leaders Rennes – with two games left in the group stage.

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