From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Creativity from midfield is something Tottenham have struggled for in recent months.
Christian Eriksen has been pretty lacklustre for the most part – barring a few decent substitute cameos here and there – while Dele Alli has got himself more goals but not been as influential when teeing up his teammates.
Erik Lamela remains a nuisance when he’s fit – which hasn’t been all too often this year. Lucas Moura has his good games every now and then and Son Heung-min has been pretty consistent, when he’s not getting himself sent off.
What was previously frustrating was the continued absence of Giovani Lo Celso from both Mauricio Pochettino and José Mourinho’s starting lineups earlier this season. His hand may have been forced, but Mourinho has given Lo Celso more chances recently, with his start against Norwich his fourth in succession.
And Tottenham are now finally starting to reap the rewards from the Argentina international’s regular presence in the team. Spurs have a pretty lightweight midfield, with Lo Celso partnered by Winks and Dele Alli in the central roles, so their game plan really has to be centred around moving the ball as quickly as possible.
That’s what Lo Celso brings to the team, and his colleagues are starting to understand how his footballing brain works.
The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder is able to turn in midfield, offering vision in attack, but also has tenacity in defence that enables him to win back possession so frequently for Tottenham.
He is, in essence, a perfect Pochettino player – but let’s not dwell on that.
Given that Tottenham’s attack has spluttered without Harry Kane, it’s imperative Lo Celso continues to feature with that injection of pace in midfield. Gedson Fernandes is still an unknown quantity at this point, though he was tidy during his substitute appearance against Norwich, and Eric Dier is little more than a charging lump at this stage – as funny as that may be for the neutrals out there.
You do have to feel sorry for Lo Celso in one regard – Tottenham’s team is currently full of players not performing to their ability – but if a rebuild does come at any stage it’ll be pivotal for the Argentine to be kept and not allowed to return to Real Betis.
His goal and assist numbers are unsurprisingly pretty modest at the moment, but as his importance to this Spurs team grows, so will his output.
It’s still early days in Lo Celso’s Spurs career, but there’s plenty to be optimistic about. Let’s just hope he keeps improving.