Monday, August 8, 2022

What Next For This Talented But Out-Of-Favour Tottenham Hotspur Forward?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Mauricio Pochettino is one of the few managers who managed to keep his job at the top of the Premier League table for the 3rd consecutive year. The manager has improved the squad at White Hart Lane and has instilled a sense of fearlessness into a youth-centric squad that now lives off each other’s success. The Spurs managed to mount a title challenge that only faded away at the fag-end of the last season and will be expected to compete with the best in the Champions League and also retain their place in Europe’s elite competition going into the next campaign.

The transfer window has given them a chance to chop and change the squad to the manager’s liking and Pochettino has already done some serious business this summer. But one Clinton N’Jie will feel hard done by. Having impressed with his performances for the Lyon side in League 1, Clinton N’Jie earned himself a call up from the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur who snapped him up last summer. However, he was not able to find regular first team football and missed most of the second half of the last season through a knee injury. However, he is now back fit and firing and is expected to return to France on a year-long loan deal at Marseille. So what does this move mean for the Cameroon international? Does he have any chance of playing in the Premier League again?

The 22-year old is a versatile forward comfortable playing on all three positions in the attacking line. His speed and dribbling abilities are his biggest assets while his passing and finishing is what attracts interests from European clubs. He is a player who has a peculiar eye for goal and is also equally adept at creating goals for his team-mates. He is also a superb player when played as a second striker and it was expected that Harry Kane will benefit from the 22-year old like Alexander Lacazette did in N’jie’s time at Lyon.

However, he was reduced to just 8 appearances last season and has not impressed the manager enough to earn himself another season in the Premier League. Pochettino decided to purchase Kevin N’Koudou for £11m from Marseille and has offered the services of N’Jie on loan for the next season to the French outfit with a €7m option to make the transfer permanent should the 22-year-old play a certain number of games for the club next season. N’Koudou’s move means that N’Jie has fallen even below the pecking order and will hardly have any chance to impress the manager.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Joshua Onomah of Spurs  takes a shot on goal during the UEFA Europa League Group J match between Tottenham Hotspur and AS Monaco at White Hart Lane on December 10, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: Joshua Onomah of Spurs takes a shot on goal during the UEFA Europa League Group J match between Tottenham Hotspur and AS Monaco at White Hart Lane on December 10, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

To make matters worse, Spurs also went and purchased Vincent Janssen who will provide back up to Harry Kane, so that’s another position fewer for N’Jie to take advantage of.

It was reported that N’Jie has accepted that he will not be playing a huge role at White Hart Lane next season and that a move back to France might be the best option for him. He has enough experience in the French league to settle into the Marseille team without taking too much time and if he is given enough game time around a team that suits his style of play, he can potentially become a big star in the future. It would surely hurt the Spurs if N’Jie turns out to be a top class star in years to come. But for now, it will up to him to work hard and take every opportunity that comes his way to prove himself in France next season.

Do you think Pochettino was wrong in sending N’Jie back to France after just a season?

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