This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Argentina play Brazil on Friday and the game should have some special interest from north London.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovani Lo Celso has been called up to La Albiceleste’s squad as they prepare to take on their bitter Samba rivals.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not Lo Celso will actually play; he has not got a lot of football under his belt for Spurs this season and only completed his first 90 minutes at the weekend, as they drew 1-1 with Sheffield United.
But if he does, Mauricio Pochettino, his compatriot, really ought to take notes.
In his first start for the club, he played on the right of midfield against Red Star Belgrade as Spurs won 4-0 in the Champions League.
He scored his first goal for the club in that fixture and subsequently retained his place against the Blades.
But he was again played out of position, on the right flank, and endured a troublesome afternoon, as Football FanCast has explored previously.
For Argentina, throughout his international career, he has played primarily in central midfield.
He was playing in that role in the 0-0 draw with Chile, in which he sustained a hip injury, and has done so in 13 of his 19 caps for his country. He has played as an attacking midfielder twice, a right midfielder on four occasions and on the left wing once.
Funnily enough, Argentina have won just once when he has been deployed on the right side of midfield, a 5-1 thrashing of Nicaragua. In the other games, they were beaten 6-1 by Spain, 2-0 by Colombia and 2-0 by Brazil.
It is clear that his country do not see him as a winger and he is likely to return to midfield on Friday.
When he last played in midfield, he was partnered by Leandro Paredes, the PSG midfielder, and Udinese’s Rodrigo de Paul as they drew 0-0 with Chile.
The same goes for the Copa America third-place play-off, also against Chile, and it could be instructive for Pochettino as he bids to cure Spurs’ ailments.
They have not won in the Premier League since September but one feels that placing Lo Celso in a midfield three could bring some success.
It would surely lead to the exclusion of Christian Eriksen, the attacking midfielder, but Lo Celso could play alongside a combination of Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele, Moussa Sissoko and Eric Dier.
It would add energy and dynamism to the middle and also spark a fluidity not seen from Spurs in months.
Pochettino ought to keep an eye on Argentina’s game just to see how Lo Celso performs, and whether those skills could be transferable.