Tanguy Ndombele is refusing to give up on his chances of playing for France at Euro 2020 after becoming more “efficient” for Tottenham this season.
Spurs splashed out a club-record fee, reported to be £64million, to sign the midfielder from Lyon ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, but injuries and poor form contributed to an underwhelming start in the Premier League.
Indeed, a lack of game time under Jose Mourinho led to suggestions Spurs may decide to move Ndombele on and Juventus were linked with an interest last year.
But Ndombele has improved dramatically this term, appearing in 24 of Tottenham’s 27 top-flight games and starting 22 of those.
He has scored three goals in the Premier League, more than he managed last season, while only Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have created more chances for team-mates.
Having earned the trust of the tough-to-please Mourinho, Ndombele – ahead of Spurs’ derby clash with Arsenal on Sunday – said he was focused on regaining a spot in France’s squad, having last played for Les Bleus in June 2019.
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Asked why he thinks France boss Didier Deschamps has overlooked him, Ndombele told RMC Sport: “I was simply less efficient. I always want to be called up, but there are a lot of players in my position, good players, and the competition is there.
“But I have tried to raise my head since the start of the season and do my best to be called into the next squad.
“When I enter the field, I know that I will be watched by the staff. Even when you’re hurt, you think about it.
“I always want to be selected; it’s something beautiful for a player to be in the France team. You tell yourself that you are one of the 23 best in your country.
“In addition, this is a great generation, a very good team. We all want to be called. I’m not going to lie, the France team, I miss it.”
Ndombele is the only French midfielder from Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues to have made at least 50 tackles and 150 ball recoveries across all competitions this season, in tandem with creating 20 or more chances and a minimum five ‘big chances’.
Deschamps names his last squad before Euro 2020 in the coming week, ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
While Ndombele wants to be called up for that triple-header at the end of the month, he will not mind if he has to wait for his international return in Deschamps’ tournament squad.
“The most important list is the one before the Euros,” Ndombele said. “It’s always better to be called now, we want to be on all the lists, but if the coach calls me just for the Euros, I take it too.”