TANGUY NDOMBELE says the crisis meeting with chairman Daniel Levy saved his Tottenham career.
In scenes captured in the Amazon documentary All Or Nothing, Levy summoned £65million record signing Ndombele for talks towards the end of the 2019-20 season in order to discuss his lack of playing time.
The France midfielder said: "If a chairman is seeing something that he is not happy with, it's normal that he wants to speak to the player about that.
"It was a good meeting, I listened to what he had to say and he listened to me, too.
"Yeah, perhaps if I'm still at Tottenham today it's thanks to that meeting."
During the chat, Levy told Ndombele that fellow Frenchman Moussa Sissoko had also struggled in his early days at Tottenham, but had come through because he was "a fighter".
The Spurs supremo then revealed how a headmaster had told his parents he should leave school at 16, but he had proved him wrong by knuckling down and going to university.
Ndombele responded: "I'm a fighter. I've always fought. I'm here today because I fought.
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"I have never given up in football or in life."
More than a year on and Ndombele is showing signs that he can be the player that Levy thought he had bought.
The Frenchman, 24, shone in a No 10-style role in last Sunday's 3-2 win at Newcastle.
Ndombele said: "I'm not sure if it was my best performance, but it was true that it was a good match for me against Newcastle and a good match for the team.
"It was because of the good preparation of the coach and the team that put me in a position to play like that." Credit to boss Nuno Espirito Santo, then, for bringing the best out of him.
Although Ndombele insists he had no problem with the tough-love approach that former boss Jose Mourinho used.
Jose Mourinho is someone who has a hard style of management but he's always about the clubTanguy Ndombele
Ndombele said: "I am quite happy for people to tell the truth like that about me.
"That type of management I'm fine with. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
"It is true that it was hard at the start with Mourinho but then, over time, we got on much better and the relationship worked much better.
"With any manager, if I don't like how I'm treated, I'll say so.
"At the end of the day, each manager is going to have their own style. They're two very different people.
"Jose Mourinho is someone who has a hard style of management but he's always about the club.
"Nuno is a really nice guy but he's a bit quieter and keeps himself to himself."
Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris reckoned Ndombele needed a run of games to find a consistent level of performance.
And Ndombele said: "I think that Hugo's right. "At the end of the day, you need to play matches and get into the rhythm to find your form.
"When you don't, when you miss matches, it always takes a bit longer and it is difficult to get that back.
"But I will always do my best to get up to speed and be 100 per cent as soon as I can."
Which is all Spurs chief Levy or anyone can ask.
In the meeting, speaking through player liaison officer Roberto Balbontin, Tottenham's chairman said: "We, the club and the manager, we both believe he has the talent.
"He has to unlock it. Only he can turn this around."
Midfielder Ndombele and Tottenham must hope that he is at last doing just that.
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