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Tottenham Hotspur

Maybe in five years, we will not talk about me anymore - Ndombele

20:18 GMT+3 14/10/2019
Tanguy Ndombele Tottenham 2019-20
The Frenchman is only 22 but knows he has to keep moving forward or risk being overtaken by the next batch of talented youth

Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele says he knows he has to keep moving forward as a player, or he risks being forgotten.

The 22-year-old France international, formerly of Lyon, signed in a club-record €60 million (£54m/$68m) deal over the summer and is looking to the examples set by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as he drives his pursuit of glory.

Despite his relative youth, Ndombele has been watching a player six years his junior light up his old stomping ground of Ligue 1 this season – a frightening reminder of football’s relentless evolution.

“I’m staying focused, I’m trying to move forward, but always knowing that things can go backwards quickly,” he told Canal Football Club.

“Maybe in five years we will not talk about me anymore. In football there are always little gems that appear every year.

“I still watch Ligue 1; at Rennes there is the youngster [Eduardo] Camavinga who is 16 years old. That’s why I say that we must always stay focused.”

Ndombele is still settling into life in the Premier League. He has only missed two games so far due to a slight hamstring injury, but has now made eight total appearances in the league and Champions League as Mauricio Pochettino’s side have struggled to get their season off the ground.

He watched from the bench as France edged out Iceland 1-0 in Euro 2020 qualifying on Friday, and will be hoping to play some part against Turkey on Monday evening.

The two sides are tied on 18 points at the top of Group H, six points ahead of Iceland with two more games to come.

On a day-to-day basis, though, Ndombele is concentrating on his own self-improvement, and he knows a record transfer fee isn’t enough to consider himself a success.

“You never know in football, it’s about humility,” he said.

“You see big players like Messi or Ronaldo, they have five Ballons d’Or and they still want more. I just signed for Tottenham, I don’t have the right to be satisfied, I still want more.

“I was told that I was a little too nonchalant. I’m trying to improve it. Whether it’s in a match, in training, even in the way I walk, I am trying to improve myself.”