Saturday, October 1, 2022

Tanguy Ndombele’s Napoli switch can hand Spurs nightmare Champions League scenario

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Tanguy Ndombele’s Napoli switch can hand Spurs nightmare Champions League scenario

Tanguy Ndombele has a chance to restart his career in 2022/23 after a frustrating couple of years.

The French international was far from his peak when he returned on loan to Lyon for the second half of last season, unable to regain his top form on a consistent basis at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Ndombele, who is not in Antonio Conte’s plans for the future, is set to play for Napoli in Serie A after the clubs agreed on a loan deal for the 25-year-old.

Spalletti’s team are understood to have the option in their agreement to purchase him on a permanent deal for £25m next summer if he arrives in Italy on Thursday to undergo his medical.

A switch to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona provides the player with an ideal opportunity to demonstrate his abilities, and he will also have Champions League football to look forward to following Napoli’s third-place finish in Serie A.

Their return to Europe’s top competition raises the possibility of Ndombele facing his parent club in the group stage or knockout round.

Teams will learn their Champions League fate next Thursday evening at 5 p.m. in Istanbul, Turkey, when the group stage draw is made.

Tottenham will undoubtedly be looking forward to it after failing to qualify in the previous two years.

Spurs are in Pot 2 for the group stage draw, while Napoli are in Pot 3. Providing Tottenham is not drawn alongside AC Milan from Pot 1, the Naples-based club could face Tottenham in the group stage.

Pot 3 also includes Borussia Dortmund, Red Bull Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Sporting CP, and Bayer Leverkusen, with Benfica set to join them if they do not surrender their 2-0 lead and are eliminated in the play-off round against Dynamo Kviv. 

While Premier League rules state that a loan player cannot play against his parent club, the rules in the Champions League are different.

UEFA rules do not allow clauses that prevent loanees from playing against their parent club, so Tanguy Ndombele will be eligible to play for Napoli against Tottenham in the Champions League.

This has happened before in the competition, including two years ago when Philippe Coutinho scored two goals and assisted another in Bayern Munich’s 8-2 thrashing of his parent club Barcelona.

Other notable examples include Thibaut Courtois, who helped Atletico Madrid defeat Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals in 2014, Kingsley Coman, who knocked Juventus out while on loan at Bayern Munich in 2017/18, and James Rodriguez, who scored against Real Madrid while on loan at Bayern.

While it is currently a distinct possibility that Ndombele will line up against Tottenham very soon, it may soon become a reality when the Champions League group stage draw takes place next Thursday evening.

Tanguy Ndombele’s Napoli switch can hand Spurs nightmare Champions League scenario

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