Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has said that out-of-favour midfielder Dele Alli should follow the example set by Tanguy Ndombele.
Alli has seen himself fall down the Spurs pecking order in recent weeks, failing to even make the bench for wins over Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Southampton before starting and playing an hour in Thursday's win at Shkendija.
The England midfielder has been linked with a move away from north London much like his team-mate Ndombele, who has often found himself out of Mourinho's lineup since moving from Lyon in July 2019.
Ndombele, though, could be turning a corner in his Spurs career as he has now started back-to-back matches and has prompted Mourinho to say the 23-year-old is improving.
"I’m very happy [with him]," Mourinho said of Ndombele ahead of Sunday's Premier League match against Newcastle.
"I say all the time, when a player improves it’s a player’s responsibility, it’s the player’s credit. It’s not the coach who makes the miracle. The player that does that by himself, to understand what he has to understand and go in the right direction that he has to go. Tanguy, step by step, is doing very well.
"I didn't talk to Tanguy. I just think that he felt the direction which it was going was not the right one and it’s something that players with me, they feel all of the time that I don’t give positions for free.
"The players have to fight, they have to perform, I would never give him a place in the team because he was an expensive buy or because he’s an important player. He has to do that by himself, probably with the help of his colleagues, with the help of his teammates, he went in a good direction."
Mourinho has even suggested that Alli could learn a thing or two from his team-mate.
When asked if Ndombele's reaction is what he wants to see from Alli and others who are out of favour, Mourinho said: "Yes, that’s what I want.
"I don’t want players to moan, I don’t want players to feel frustrated, I don’t want players to feel that I have something against them when I don’t pick them up.
"I want players to fight for the minutes that they want to be on the pitch and when you play for Tottenham, you have to understand that Tottenham wants to be better and better and the rewards are going to be better and better and the players cannot have a comfortable position on the pitch."