Noel Whelan has revealed his surprise that Nuno Espirito Santo subbed off Tanguy Ndombele for Oliver Skipp at the weekend.
Chelsea beat Tottenham 3-0 at the Tottenham Stadium which saw the Lilywhites suffer a second consecutive Premier League defeat.
Spurs have now hit a rough patch and one player who has recently returned to the starting XI is Ndombele.
The Frenchman struggled to play at the start of the season and was even tipped to leave the club in the last summer transfer window, but he remained at the club and has now featured in Spurs last two competitive matches.
The Lilywhites’ midfield play was helped by the presence of Ndombele, whose neat footwork and forward passes helped them to launch attacks at the Blues.
However, Nuno Santo eventually subbed him off and replaced him with the more defensive-minded Skipp.
Former Leeds man, Whelan didn’t like the change and said he was surprised at the decision when Spurs were looking to get something from the match.
Speaking to Football Insider about Ndombele, Whelan said: “Look, I have been very impressed by his professionalism over the last couple of weeks. We all know that he wanted to leave the club in the summer so it is commendable that he has knuckled down rather than sulk.
“It’s also testament to Nuno for starting him. He is a brilliant talent, he really is.
“How he plays and how he presents himself on the field is entirely up to himself and in the last two games I’ve been really impressed. There’s been some great touches in that midfield area.
“I was very surprised when he came off [against Chelsea]. That is no disrespect to Skipp but Ndombele is a class above him right now. Spurs needed to get back into the game and to do that you need your best players on the field, of which Ndombele is one.
“It was a strange decision and only Nuno will know the reasons behind that thinking.”