SCOUT REPORT: Tanguy Ndombele – Is he heir to Vieira’s throne?

The 21 year old Frenchman who has drawn comparisons between himself and Vieira, has impressed in Ligue 1 this season. His explosive acceleration and physical presence, along with his excellent skill on the ball makes him a dynamic, driving midfielder who can carry the ball forwards, similar to the likes of Yaya and Vieira. Ndombele is a hard working box to box midfielder who impresses in both attack and defence. His natural attributes such as his athleticism and strength raises his chances to succeed in the Premier League, a league which is stronger and demands the players to give everything physically. He possesses a lot of raw talent with his ability having no boundaries, and his all round game being very solid, all he lacks for a dominating box to box midfielder is a decent goalscoring record. Here are some stats to support what I’m saying:

Stats – 24 appearances in Ligue 1

  • Pass completion – 89%
  • 1.79 chances created per 90 mins
  • 1.42 tackles won per 90 mins
  • 3.31 successful take-ons per 90 mins
  • 54% aerial duels won
  • 1.37 interceptions per 90 mins
  • 4 assists and 0 goals

As you can see Ndombele excels with his ability to take on players, but, as all round stats go, these are very impressive, he has a blend of attacking and defensive qualities. If we compare these offensive stats with the likes of Mesut Özil who is among the best attacking players in the world and plays in a more advanced position, they are impressive:

stats – 25 appearances

  • 87% pass completion
  • 8 assists and 4 goals
  • 3.38 chances created
  • 1.52 successful take-ons

For a young player who has only recently broken onto the scene his stats are not far of matching an imperious offensive player such as Özil, only failing in chances created. Further into comparisons, if we compare Ndombele to arguably the best defensive midfielder in the world, N’golo Kante’s defensive stats we should see further evidence of a player who has the potential to compete with the top players in the world:

stats – 26 appearances

  • 2.42 tackles won per 90 mins
  • 40% aerial duels won
  • 2.02 interceptions per 90 mins

Ndombele is once again able to put respectable competition against another world class player. This suffices as evidence that Ndombele is a wonderful all-round midfielder, excelling in both defence and attack. Whilst he is currently just off the levels of Kante and Özil who are specialists in attack and defence, the stats show he has the potential to be able to be one of the best in both parts of the game. Now if we go further into analysing Ndombele’s stats compared to some of the best players in his position rather than players who play in positions specialised for defence and attack, we will see how he is already a top player.

Aaron Ramsey – 19 appearances

  • 86% pass completion
  • 1.29 chances created per 90 mins
  • 6 goals and 6 assists
  • 1.16 successful take-ons per 90 mins
  • 1.29 tackles won per 90 mins
  • 1 interceptions per 90 mins

Other than the goals and assists department there is little or nothing between the two, this is arguably the Premier League’s best box to box midfielder.

Arturo Vidal – 22 appearances

  • 89% pass completion
  • 1.60 chances created per 90 mins
  • 6 goals and 2 assists
  • 3.15 tackles won per 90 mins
  • 0.41 successful take-ons per 90 mins
  • 1.41 interceptions per 90 mins

Vidal is considered as one of the best box to box midfielders in the world and other than goals and tackles Ndombele either beat or came close to beating him.

Radja Nainggolan – 24 appearances

  • 84% pass completion
  • 2.06 chances created per 90 mins
  • 3 goals and 7 assists
  • 1.12 tackles won per 90 mins
  • 1.93 successful take-ons per 90 mins
  • 0.82 interceptions per 90 mins

Once again, the bracket that lets him down is his goal and assist return. Other than that he has once again competed with one of the most all-round midfielders in the world.

So compared to the 3 quality players above who play in the same position as him, Ndombele is already proving he is capable of competing with the best at the age of 21. He certainly has a bright future and could one day reach the top, he’s earned a move to a big club through his performances this season.

Ndombele is undoubtedly a golden talent, he is an enigma in the sense of having the physical attributes to match the strongest, but also the qualities of a playmaker. In essence he is the epitome of an all round player. The dominating box to box destroyer we have lacked since Diaby who can input in both defence and attack. Ndombele is one of Europe’s most exciting young midfielders, he can be almost impossible to dispossess or stop when he drives with the ball (the same way as Yaya was in his prime) and has the potential to be the best depending on how his development goes, if there is one midfielder Arsenal should sign it is this man. The only area lacking for Ndombele at the moment is his goal record, the rest is already of high calibre and will only get better. He will cost around £30-35 million in summer and would be a bargain at that price. He is the player most worthy of inheriting Vieira’s throne since Diaby and would provide a fresh new option to add to our current midfield options.


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