Tanguy Ndombele’s arrival at Tottenham in 2019 generated an awful lot of excitement.
But it’s fair to say his debut season in English football didn’t go to plan, which generated criticism from Jose Mourinho.
As per ESPN, the Frenchman has said those comments didn’t really spur him on any more – he said he just took it on board.
He also commented on Tottenham’s title hopes as they sit two points off table-toppers Everton after Monday’s 1-0 win over Burnley.
“His words didn’t hurt me,”said Ndombele of Mourinho. “They didn’t necessarily motivate me either. It was just something I took on board.
“Last season my head just wasn’t in the right place. This season it’s going a lot better.
“Our objective has always been to get into the top four,” he said. “More than that? Why not? But nobody wins the league in six matches.”
The crazy start to the season and injuries at Liverpool mean that the title looks as if it could be up for grabs if any team can put a run of wins together.
Tottenham weren’t really in that conversation before a ball was kicked, but the away wins against Southampton and Manchester United have grabbed attention.
They’ll need to improve their home form – where they have let leads slip against Newcastle and West Ham already this season – if they are to be title challengers.
But they have a manager who knows how to win the title and in Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, two playes right at the top of their game.
If Ndombele keeps improving, that will help too and perhaps Spurs can set their sights on more than just the top four.