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Sissoko urges patience with Spurs' record signing Ndombele

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur should be patient with Tanguy Ndombele and give him time to fulfil his potential after making the switch to the Premier League last year, his team mate Moussa Sissoko has said.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round Replay - Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - February 5, 2020 Tottenham Hotspur's Tanguy Ndombele celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/David Klein/File Photo

Ndombele, 23, was signed in the close season for a club record 54 million pounds ($67 million) but has failed to impress, with manager Jose Mourinho even singling him out for criticism before the COVID-19 shutdown.

The Frenchman has played only 19 minutes since the season’s restart last month and Sissoko said he was also in a similar position when he arrived at the London club as a then-record signing in 2016.

“Maybe because I am like his big brother, I am a good example because nothing was easy for me at the beginning,” Sissoko, 30, was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

“Tanguy’s first season has not been easy for a lot of reasons, but I speak with him nearly every day. I play with him in the national team, so I know him very well.

“I told him just to stay calm, keep working every day and his time will come. I just worked very hard at training (when times were tough at Spurs) and things changed.”

Ndombele was a regular under former manager Mauricio Pochettino while injury setbacks have also hampered him during his debut season in England.

Yet Sissoko is confident his fellow France international will succeed at Spurs.

“We all believe in Tanguy’s quality,” Sissoko added. “He has come to another country, another culture, another style of football, another league, he doesn’t speak the language.

“So there are a lot of things. I’m sure he will be a success at the club.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis