If you were paying any sort of attention to the more statistically inclined football analysts this summer, the name Tanguy Ndombele — and its assortment of pronunciations — is bound to have popped up at some point. Despite the goalscoring endeavours of Nabil Fekir, Memphis Depay and Mariano Diaz carrying les Gones to third place in Ligue 1, Ndombele was often presented as the beating heart of the side.
Given the 21-year old’s ubiquitous presence in all things good about Bruno Génésio’s side, it’s an understandable position to take. The former Guingamp youth player — on loan from Amiéns for the season — posted outstanding numbers in ball recoveries, progressive passes and dribbles, as well as notching six assists, all from deep in the Lyon midfield. The lack of goalscoring threat notwithstanding, it was the sort of season that put Naby Keïta on the map back in 2016, but presented in a 6 foot package.
Despite an ungainly-looking style, Ndombele’s elite ability to get on the ball and get it into the final third has begun turning heads across the continent this season, and only five months after signing his permanent deal with Lyon, there is talk of the French international moving abroad. Besides Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Everton and Barcelona have all reportedly scouted the midfielder, with the €60m price tag doing nothing to dissuade the interested parties.
Given Jürgen Klopp’s affinity for do-it-all midfielders, Ndombele is a name that makes sense, and as getting the ball to his deadly frontline has occasionally been a troublesome issue, one could absolutely see why the German would be willing to splash on the Paris-born midfielder. James Milner will turn 33 by the start of next season, Jordan Henderson 29, and rejuvenating midfield is beginning to look like a necessary move in the not too distant future.
While currently only in his second season at the top level, there is little doubt that Ndombele will be moving on to bigger things soon, and it could very well be in an all red kit.