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…
Giovani Lo Celso’s cameo against Arsenal suggests he could have a major role to play in Tottenham’s season.
The Argentine was introduced as a second-half substitute with the score at 2-2 in a frantic north London derby.
Coming on for Son Heung-min, the change appeared to be designed to wrestle back some control for Spurs, having thrown away a 2-0 lead. It worked.
Lo Celso, a slick dribbler of the ball, touched the ball just seven times, per WhoScored, but he brought with him an element of calm and tranquillity in a sea of derby noise.
Three of those touches came as he controlled a falling ball on his knee, turned and beat Dani Ceballos, and then earned his team a free-kick as he was bodychecked on the edge of the box.
Throughout his cameo, he appeared to be the most composed player on the pitch and there were signs that he is getting to a level of fitness where he can actually start games, instead of merely influencing them from the bench.
Signed on an initial loan deal from Real Betis in the summer, Lo Celso scored 16 goals in all competitions last season and it is easy to see why.
Against Arsenal, even in a small cameo, Lo Celso showed that he constantly plays with his head up, looking to move the ball forward and progress possession.
Watch Tottenham Hotspur Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv Below
He made just four passes throughout the time he was on the pitch but every one of them was accurate and he also managed to make a tackle.
It remains to be seen exactly where he’ll play once he is fresh enough to be featuring from the start – he is not a winger so it is not difficult to imagine Spurs playing both he and Son together – but the signs are encouraging.
With the international break now underway, Spurs have a number of major players set to come back from injury, including Tanguy Ndombele and Ryan Sessegnon, both of whom were also signed in the summer.
When everyone is fit, Mauricio Pochettino has a number of remarkably strong options to choose from.
Lo Celso could play a key role in all of them.