Antonio Conte has challenged Tanguy Ndombele to work for the team and not for himself ahead of a potential recall for the midfielder at home to Leeds on Sunday.
Spurs will be without Oliver Skipp due to suspension and it leaves the Italian with two options.
Either Harry Winks will return to the fold or Ndombele will get a chance alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who is expected to recover from the leg injury he sustained against Everton two weeks ago.
Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo have all failed to get the best out of Tottenham’s record signing on a consistent basis since a summer move from Lyon two years ago for a reported fee of £55million.
Conte said of Ndombele: “Yeah, I have seen that many managers struggle about this situation, about the position. For sure Tanguy has the quality.
“At the same time he has to understand that there is a team and he has to play into the team. I think it means that it is important to keep order and to do what the position asks you to do.
“For sure with Tanguy we are working. We are working very hard. He has to work much more than the others, because he has talent but he has to put this talent into the team for the best of the team, not for the single player.
“In my football I have an idea and in this idea there are tasks for the players. Every single player has to know what he has to do. Otherwise if every player just goes and runs around the pitch, I think it will be a mess.”
England Under-21 international Skipp had started Conte’s first two games in charge but received his fifth booking of the Premier League season at Goodison Park and will sit out the clash with Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
The new Tottenham manager joked it leaves him with little options, but he is hopeful Hojbjerg will be fit after the Dane was set to return to training on Friday.
He added: “Skippy, he can’t play, he was banned for one game. In the previous games we played with Skippy and Hojbjerg.
“Also we have to see, I hope today to have Hojbjerg with the team, because he also was injured in the last week and didn’t work.
“Then there is one between Winky and Tanguy Ndombele. Not many choices but we have to go.”
Spurs will also be forced to make a change in defence after Conte provided a worrying prognosis on Cristian Romero, who suffered an injury while away with Argentina.
“Bad news about Cristian Romero and his injury,” the 52-year-old said.
“I spoke with the doctors and now is right to wait seven to 10 days for another scan to understand the time he needs to recover.
“Also Giovani Lo Celso didn’t come back perfect physically. I don’t know about him if he’ll be available. For sure Romero is not available.”
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